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Defence ministry denies that suspect ‘offering army exemptions for cash’ ever worked there

Nicosia court

Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides on Friday denied that a suspect currently on remand by the courts for allegedly offering families army exemptions for their sons for a hefty fee, was ever an employee of the defence ministry.

The suspect, initially reported to be a former employee of the ministry, has been remanded for allegedly promising to secure army exemptions for their sons for €14,000 a pop.

The suspect was remanded by the Nicosia court for eight days pending a police investigation into the allegations.

According to Politis, the suspect scammed two families out of €14,000 by promising to secure military exemptions for their sons.

The alleged fraud came to light when one of the families found their son brought up on charges of failing to show up for the draft because they believed they had secured him an exemption.

Reportedly, during the hearings, the suspect asked the family for more money to get the charges dropped.  The family then reported it to the police.

Commenting, on Friday on the sidelines of the Argonaut 2022 exercise, Petrides denied the suspect ever worked at the ministry.

“I am aware of the matter. I understand that this person was not an employee of the ministry but a collaborator who had some relationship with another person from the ministry fifteen years ago,” the minister said.

“The case is under police investigation, and we are waiting for the results,” he added.

Information brought before the ministry also indicate that the suspect was promising exemptions to athletes as well.

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