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Cyprus

Illegal firearms and drugs convictions in SBA Court

A Greek Cypriot man from Xylophagou was convicted for the illegal possession of a shotgun whilst banned from using one and for possessing a shotgun and explosives in a game reserve area on June 24, SBA Police in Dhekelia confirmed on Thursday.

The man was arrested in October last year when officers from the Community Action Team raided a fenced-off field in Alambrona, near Xylophagou, after hearing bird-imitating devices.

Police discovered the man close to a fully erected mist net and despite his best efforts to evade arrest, officers quickly apprehended him and took into custody.

Following his court case last week, he was convicted to eight months in prison, suspended for three years, for the illegal possession of a firearm having been prohibited from carrying one following a previous conviction in 2017.

Another eight-month prison sentence, suspended for three years to run concurrently, was also handed down for the possession of a shotgun in a Game Reserve Area and he was also fined a combined total of €1,000 for the possession of explosives (shotgun cartridges) and for obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty.

Deputy Divisional Commander, Superintendent Andreas Pitsillides, speaking after the conviction, said: “This is yet another strong warning that we will not tolerate this type of illegal activity within the SBAs.

“Our Community Action Team are dedicated to catching bird trappers and looking at the huge reduction in this activity over the past few years, it further highlights our dedication to this issue.”

On the same day, police officers also confirmed that another man was sentenced to a total of six months in prison, suspended for three years, after being found guilty for possessing cannabis and carrying a fixed, five inch blade.

The man was arrested in Ormidhia on January 22 after police officers secured a search warrant for a workshop and with the help of the SBA Police Dog Unit and SBA Customs, discovered what turned out to be 10 grams of the Class-B drug, seeds, a digital scale and the blade inside a car.

Following his conviction, Superintendent Pitsillides said: “During his initial interview at the Dhekelia Police Station, he admitted to the possession of all the items.’’

The man was also convicted and fined €400 for failing to wear a mask under Covid-19 restrictions whilst in the presence of more than two people. It was increased from €300 after he failed to pay the initial Fixed Penalty Notice.

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