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Sewerage corruption probes close to finishing

Investigations in alleged acts of corruption and bribery at the sewerage boards in Nicosia and Larnaca are close to completion, according to media reports on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Costas Clerides met with the investigative teams of the CID Headquarters and Larnaca CID to get updated on the developments surrounding the Nicosia Sewerage Board and the Larnaca Sewerage Board.

Upon being briefed, Clerides informed the investigators on how to next proceed in the probes that have been on-going for a while now due to various complications and legal obstacles – which include obtaining warrants to search bank accounts and law firms.

Investigators are being aided by officials of the Legal Services and of the Audit Office of the Republic.

With regards to the investigation in Nicosia, sources say that it drawing to the end and that all that is pending is the final inspection of the books with regards to several suspects.

As things stand now, it remains unclear exactly which individuals – said to be contractors and municipal councillors – have gotten their hands dirty while some more witnesses are being sought.

Investigators have already located bank accounts during which suspicious deposits were made.

With regards to Larnaca, progress has also been made despite investigations being temporarily halted by a Certiorari (a writ by which a higher court reviews a decision of a lower court) over an arrest warrant issued against a law firm.

Some board members of the Nicosia Sewerage Board has been accused by Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides of bribery and corruption while Michaelides harbours similar suspicions for the Larnaca Sewerage Board where he believes bribery also took place a series of works around the town.

High-ranking officials – including former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas – are already in prison over their role in the Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) corruption scandal.

Fresh allegations in the SAPA enquiry later led to new arrests and several officials – including another former mayor, Fidias Sarikas – are currently on trial in Paphos.

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