Cyprus’ police force was in possession of advanced surveillance equipment since at least 2014, according to emails published in a report by daily Phileleftheros.

Emails seen and published by the newspaper appear to show communications between a senior police officer at the ‘crime analysis & statistics office – section A, police headquarters’ and a representative of the Hacking Team.

The communications appear to be a follow up on previous contact between the officer and the company on the purchase of the advanced surveillance technology Da Vinci.

The Cypriot officer replies that “as you most probably may be aware of, a special intelligence service of our police already has your solutions and products”.

It is understood that the officer first reached out to the company after viewing its product at a summer 2013 Prague exhibition.

But by the time the company replied to his request in January 2014, the officer answered that another department had already procured the technology.

It was further reported that Da Vinci is similar to the Galileo software, also a product of the Hacking Team.

Indeed, Andreas Pentaras, head of the Central Intelligence Service (KYP) resigned from his post after it emerged through leaked emails that Cyprus had purchased the Galileo system.

After his resignation, Pentaras claimed the purchase of the software – used to infect smart phones and other devices with an internet connection – had been approved by the Cabinet.