Cyprus Mail

Explosives being stored in residential area, audit report says

File photo

The audit service on Monday sounded the alarm over explosives stored in an area surrounded by homes.

The warning was included in a report on the defence ministry, which outlined questionable decisions and said documents had been destroyed before the service’s examination.

The area where the explosives are being stored is not named in the report, however it details that the houses were built after the storage room containing the explosives were built.

“This was done without asking the audit service and without maintaining proper distancing,” the report said.

Additionally, petroleum is being stored in barrels found at an army camp surrounded by forests, making it a high-risk situation in the case of a fire, the report added.

Though the unit responded saying “measures were being taken”, the audit service maintains that infrastructure needs to be upgraded for reasons beyond forest fire risks.

The report also detailed that documents surrounding grants were destroyed before the necessary inspection by the audit service.

Another warning came over apparent shady approaches when counting military equipment. The audit service warned of large discrepancies – without getting specific – and went on to say they were not investigated by the committee that signed off on the document.

“When we questioned this, we were informed the discrepancies were simply a typo,” the report said. However, neither the committee not the unit commander that signed the document asked any questions nor it seems, had enough attention been paid.

The report also flagged the issue of military doctors, where a number of them had not obtained the special permission required from the defence ministry. Many were at times listed to be on sick leave but were still issuing prescriptions.

According to the audit service, prescription medications filed at the national guard were missing details such as ID and a doctor’s stamp.

The report also raised questions over the incident in February were priests were invited by the National Guard to try out assault rifles at the renovated firing range in Protaras. The audit service said this served no beneficial purpose to the national guard.

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