Police have made a fifth arrest in connection with a second-hand luxury car scam which involved officials at the transport department allegedly doctoring documents to pass off damaged luxury cars as new.

In an announcement on Thursday, police said they had on Wednesday night arrested a 63-year-old man resident of Nicosia.

Four others – two men aged 35 and 46 and two women aged 43 and 49, are also in police custody in connection with the case.

Police said they are investigating a case conspiracy to commit an offence, abuse of power, issuing of fake documents by public officials, dereliction of duty, forgery, circulating forged documents and securing registration under false pretenses.

They added that between January 1, 2021, and February 17, 2022, at least 29 cars appear to have been imported from abroad in damaged condition, but this was not declared when they were registered with the road transport department in Nicosia and Famagusta districts.

The story broke in the media in mid-February when it was alleged that civil servants at the department helped import used luxury cars which were slightly damaged or disassembled, repairing them, and selling them as new, with assistance from the department’s employees who issued car titles without any reference to their initial state.