Cyprus Mail

Fourteen PEP cases raise questions says auditor-general

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides

There are 14 cases of politically exposed persons (PEPs) under investigation by the audit office “which at first glance appear to raise issues”, auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said on Wednesday.

He said that the issues concern “significant write-offs” of their loans.

His comments, made at a House ad hoc committee investigating PEP loans, came as they also look into ways in which parliament can acquire further details from the banks.

Michaelides added that the investigation is focused on a list of 162 PEPs that served as ministers, MPs or party leaders from January 1, 2008, until the present day.

Personal Data Commissioner Irini Nicolaidou said that a request of information to the central bank by parliament will be granted under certain conditions.

She said that requests must make clear the reasons for which the data is being asked for, how the data will be used and guaranteeing that an individual’s data will be protected.

As for the 14 PEPs mentioned, Michaelides said that it is not a definitive number as there is still work to be done and further investigation required. The investigation itself is expected to be wrapped up by the end of September or beginning of October, he said.

The committee, chaired by House president Demetris Syllouris, decided that at the next meeting – on Friday – the banks which provided data into the investigation will be invited to attend. It also discussed ways in which finance ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou can assist in the inquiry.





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