Hoteliers are furious with the police and the labour ministry over their raids on hunting down illegal workers in Cyprus, it was reported on Wednesday.

Members of the Cyprus Hotels’ Association (Pasyxe) claim that during a recent investigation in Paphos, 30 officers entered the hotel causing panic among staff and guests.

Pasyxe general director, Philokypros Roussounides told the Cyprus Mail that these raids as they are being conducted are akin to a “third world country” and they should be done in a civilised manner.

Regarding the incident in Paphos, Roussounides said that the officers entered the hotel causing “fear and panic”.

“People were afraid, children were crying. It is not logical for such things to happen,” he said.

Pasyxe has also sent a letter to the police and the labour ministry calling on them to respect the businesses and tourists, when conducting their inspections, as it harms the industry.

“We do not renounce the police activity,” Roussounides said.

“However, this raid should be carried out in specific ways, in a specific context and always with full respect for the companies themselves.

“When we talk about hotels, we must not forget that these are businesses worth millions. We are not talking about a small grocery store or kiosk,” he added.

Roussounides said in addition to businesses, authorities should show the necessary respect to all those who choose Cyprus for their holidays and in no case should they panic and terrorise them.

Commenting on the latest issue in Paphos, Roussounides said “these incidents disappoint everyone and especially us, who are trying to build and offer a respectable tourist product.”

He added that “at the end of the day we cannot with our actions destroy it all.”

Roussounides explained checks should be conducted but in the correct manner.

“Where illegalities are found, they should be punished accordingly, but with the necessary respect,” he said.

Commenting on how Pasyxe is handling the matter, Roussounides said that the organisation has sent letters to both the labour ministry and the police, because they are the ones who carry out the inspections, in order to make the necessary corrections or recommendations to prevent a repetition in the future.

“We have through our letters asked everyone to respect both the businesses and all those who choose our country for their holidays and come to spend their money,” he said.

“Under no circumstances should we disturb their mental health and peace of mind while, at the same time, crushing our tourism product.”

Speaking to Cyprus Mail a police spokesperson said that these are operations done in conjunction with the labour ministry.

The spokesperson said that it will be difficult to do them out of uniform and did not comment further.

The operations the spokesperson added are conducted as part of a crackdown on illegal work.