MPs on Thursday called for stricter control in the supply and trade of catalytic converters in Cyprus, reporting an increase in the number of thefts of the latter in recent years.
The issue was discussed at length during a House transport committee meeting, which saw Akel MP Valentinos Fakontis denouncing a lack of state control during the trade and disposal of catalytic converters.
A catalytic converter, which is attached to vehicle’s undercarriage, is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas. The catalyst itself is most often a mix of precious metals, mostly platinum.
“We have been waiting for six months, since the last time we raised the alarm on the issue, for the government to come up measures to control it, but unfortunately nothing happened yet,” Fakontis said.
He also pointed the finger against the department of electromechanical services, which is responsible for the trade and disposal of catalytic converters, saying “it is hiding behind understaffing issues not to take appropriate action.”
Fakontis then called on the government to take the necessary regulatory steps to ensure better control over the supply, disposal, trade and export of catalytic converters.
For his part, Disy MP Zacharias Koulias confirmed that the theft of catalytic converters is a scourge that has been on the rise in recent years.
“Despite this, there is still a lack of awareness among the public regarding the phenomenon,” Koulias said, calling for a bigger and more focused effort from the authority to address the issue.
He then added that he was also the victim of a catalytic converter theft last year.
The last reported incident regarding stolen catalytic converters took place in February, when a 38-year-old man was remanded for six days on Monday after he was arrested for stealing one from a car belonging to a woman in Paralimni.