Shady dealings have been uncovered and the police have made arrests for driving licences having been issued on the basis of fake residence permits.

The case has led to three arrests so far, all migrants, who were remanded for eight days on Wednesday after they paid backhanders to get their driving licences. They are understood to have been delivery drivers.

The police have in their sights another 17 people who paid for such services, while they are focusing on two people as being the key suspects behind the ring.

The case emerged after a worker from the Limassol citizen service centre reviewed the driving licence applications – which were granted – and found that the accompanying residence permits (MEU2 documents) were forged and falsified.

The first suspect claims that he paid an acquaintance €1,000 who then secured the licence for him within a week.

The second suspect says he went to an office in Limassol and paid €800, again getting the licence within a week.

The third suspect says he went to the same office and paid €750.

All three denied any knowledge as to the details of their seemingly forged residence permits.

So far, investigations are centred on 20 such applications linked to forged documents – of which 16 are tied to the Limassol main office and four to the Agros centre. The cases in question took place between early December and early March.

Daily Phileleftheros reported that police believe two people are the key suspects behind the ring in dealing forged papers. It is understood that driving licences are issued after an official reviews the applications and the details therein should be verified in person. For foreigners and third-country nationals, the residence permit must also be verified.

The case was also confirmed by the police who were quizzed on the matter during a CyBC news programme on Tuesday.

The latest scandal emerged shortly after the Cyprus Mail exposed unscrupulous agents as having bought up migration department appointment slots in bulk and then selling them individually for up to €200.