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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Police officer suspended on suspicion of extorting money from illegal immigrant ]

Police officer suspended on suspicion of extorting money from illegal immigrant

Jacqueline Agathocleous

A PAPHOS policeman was arrested, detained and suspended yesterday after being accused of allegedly blackmailing an illegal immigrant to save him from being deported.

The policeman in question said he had sought money from the 25-year-old Syrian after realising that the latter had allegedly stolen his car’s rims.

A disciplinary investigation into the case has also been launched.

According to the police, the whole affair started back in September during a police operation on a building site, where the illegal Syrian was working. Noticing the police, the 26-year-old fled the scene, leaving his car behind.

Searching the car, the Paphos officer claims he found his rims that had been stolen a few months earlier, which was why he sought out the Syrian demanding payment.

But the police said the officer was being accused of locating the 26-year-old and blackmailing him out of around €2,000 on two separate occasions, with the promise that he would avert the latter’s deportation and secure safe residence on the island.

This was revealed when the 26-year-old was arrested again three days ago by another police department for an unrelated crime and detained. Based on the Syrian’s testimony, the policeman in question continued to threaten and blackmail him while he was in his holding cell, he even claimed the policeman beat him while in his cell.

The Syrian also implicated another policeman and another arrest could be imminent.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos yesterday confirmed the officer had been detained and suspended on suspicion of 12 crimes.

“Following the orders of Police Chief Mr Michael Papageorgiou, a police officer serving Paphos Police Headquarters was suspended in connection with an investigation into a criminal case involving 12 crimes in total,” said Katsounotos.

He added: “The most serious of these are, conspiring to commit a crime, abducting a person with the aim of secretly and unjustly restricting him, arresting a person with methods that aren’t allowed by the Constitution, demanding money with threats with the aim of stealing, abuse of authority, bribery of a public official and other related crimes, which appear to have been committed between September 18, 2009 and May 25, 2010, with the plaintiff being a 26-year-old Paphos resident”.

Katsounotos said the force had secured a statement against the officer in question. “To assist investigations, the police member was arrested a little after 3 in the afternoon with a police warrant and was remanded at Paphos Police Headquarters.”

Furthermore, he added, a disciplinary investigation has also been launched.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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