A 31-year-old man tasked with paying a company’s bills has been arrested in Kofinou on suspicion of embezzling almost half a million euros since 2020 by making the pre-signed blank cheques out to himself, police said on Sunday.

The discrepancies, involving €490,000 in total, was found after the company’s books were audited, police said.

According to police, the cheques were pre-signed by the company’s president and accountant and the suspect’s job was to make the payments related to operations.

Instead, he allegedly made the blank cheques out to himself, not the company’s creditors.

The theft was only discovered after an audit and relate to the period from 2020 to date. A shareholder of the company filed a complaint with police and the suspect was arrested around lunchtime on Sunday.

Larnaca police are investigating along with Kofinou.