A man and his father in law were remanded in custody for a further three days on Sunday in connection with the sale of 16,000 masks which had been given by the state to a pharmaceuticals company to be circulated for free.
Police investigations are focusing on a specific professional link concerning the older man, 55. Both him and his son in law, 27, are refusing to speak to the police, saying their lawyer will do it for them in court.
The case emerged after police were alerted that a pharmaceutical company in Limassol was selling masks to pharmacies in Nicosia that appeared to be the same products as the government had imported.
Authorities confirmed the masks were part of the batch that had arrived from China. It emerged that the 27-year-old, who lives in Nicosia, on May 12 sold the company in question 16,000 masks for €0.37 each, receiving in total €5,920.
After the 27-year-old was arrested police found some of the masks the government has imported in his house.
The two men are being investigated for conspiracy to conduct a felony, theft, deceit, money extortion under false pretences and for offences concerning money laundering. The alleged offences took place between April 3 and May 16.
“It is under investigation where exactly these masks were acquired from since while they were being distributed for free and they were found to be sold in pharmacies,” Head of Limassol CID Ioannis Soteriades said when they were arrested.
The government imported nine million masks which are being distributed free of charge to businesses and public sector services.
The head of the state health services reported the case to the police.