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Coordinated action to combat illegal fireworks, smuggling ahead of Easter

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British bases police and customs officers, in cooperation with Cyprus police, made multiple arrests in a pre-Easter festivities clampdown, it was announced on Wednesday.

“In two of the five planned joint operations in April, arrests were made for possession of Class A drugs – crystal methamphetamine – attempts to smuggle chemicals through the Pergamos checkpoint, and for various traffic offences,” a statement by Dhekelia base police said.

The statement added that the arrests were made in the context of the three services working together to combat the widespread illegal distribution of fireworks and firecrackers during Easter.

“Fireworks and improvised explosive devices [made of pipes] are an island wide problem, particularly during Easter,” the statement noted.

Senior constable Michalis Angelides said the combined efforts allowed for the detection of a range of crimes, not just pyrotechnics.

However, firecrackers are a big concern as they can fall into the hands of children and cause injuries and damages to property, he noted.

The multi-force cooperation between British bases authorities, RoC police, and the UN, enabled the effective exchange information and identification of those who attempt to smuggle illegal items from the north to the south, Angelides said.

“Our joint efforts mean we have personnel on the ground, ready to act,” he said, adding that the two operations to date underscored a shared commitment.

In the run-up to Easter bases officers also visited schools to educate children about the dangers of fireworks.

“Easter is a time of celebration and joy and no family should mourn a loss or a serious injury,” Maria Atalioti, senior constable of the Akrotiri base police force said.

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