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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-10-24

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


  • [01] Ex-Disy official remanded again in pink slips inquiry
  • [02] Jailed animal lover to be freed
  • [03] ‘Drunk Georgian’ being held in the north
  • [04] Two remanded on drugs charges
  • [05] Fowl play as new hunting season starts with a bang
  • [06] Fake wall causes tempers to flare
  • [07] Plan to halve water consumption

  • [01] Ex-Disy official remanded again in pink slips inquiry

    By Martin Hellicar

    AT THE second time of asking, police yesterday managed to secure a remand order for the former organisational secretary of Disy, Andreas Tsangarides.

    Nicosia District Court remanded Tsangarides, 60, for eight days on suspicion of illegally employing foreigners and enticing a public official to abuse his position.

    Bambos Anastassiades, twin brother of the leader of governing Disy, Nicos Anastassiades, was yesterday remanded again on suspicion of selling fake visas to cabaret artistes.

    Both Tsangarides and Anastassiades were arrested after a police probe into an alleged work permits scam. Three senior officers were appointed to investigate allegations that members of the force and others in positions of power have been abetting underworld prostitution rackets by providing fake permits for cabaret artistes.

    More arrests are expected in connection with the probe.

    On Friday, Nicosia District Court threw out a police request for a remand order for Tsangarides because of a mismatch between the charges on the warrant for his arrest and the charges police told the court they were investigating. The warrant mentioned only the illegal employment of foreigners, while in court, investigators spoke also of enticing a public official to abuse his position.

    Defence lawyer Yiannis Erotokritou objected and the court upheld his objection.

    Tsangarides was released but a new warrant was immediately issued for his rearrest. Police were at first unable to track him down and they put his name on a stop-list. But he turned himself in to police shortly before midnight on Friday.

    Yesterday he was brought up before the Nicosia court at around midday. Case investigator Andreas Naoum told the court police believed Tsangarides had been involved in 55 cases of illegal employment of foreigners. Naoum said police had confiscated 1,188 of Tsangarides' files and needed time to examine them all.

    Tsangarides's lawyer again raised objections to the police case, with the result that the remand hearing lasted more than four hours.

    In the end, Tsangarides was remanded for eight days on suspicion of involvement in the illegal employment of foreigners and of enticing a public official to abuse his position.

    Tsangarides made the headlines earlier this month when he claimed President Glafcos Clerides was linked to the work permits scam. The allegations were flatly denied by the government.

    At Limassol District court yesterday, businessman Bambos Anastassiades, 53, was reremanded for eight days.

    The court heard again that he was suspected of selling fake work and residence permits, known as pink slips, for £170 a piece. Marios Yiallouris, held on suspicion of similar illicit activities, was also reremanded for six days.

    The court heard that police had issued arrest warrants for three more people wanted in connection with similar scams.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

    [02] Jailed animal lover to be freed

    By George Psyllides

    AN IRISH animal lover jailed for working without a permit can now expect an early release, courtesy of a recommendation by Attorney-general Alecos Markides.

    Pauline O'Neill can thank prison overcrowding for her pending reprieve.

    "O'Neill will be among 70 prisoners expected to be released on presidential pardon due to prison overpopulation," Markides told The Sunday Mail yesterday.

    Thirty-four-year-old O'Neill will, he said, be given a grace period in which to sort out her legal status on the island.

    "O'Neill will not be deported immediately, but she will be given 15 days in which to reapply for a permit," the attorney-general said.

    She was convicted on October 12 of working without a permit and living in Cyprus with an expired visa. She appeared before Limassol District Court without a lawyer and was given two three- month prison sentences, to run concurrently.

    O'Neill came to Cyprus five years ago, and according to friends, she fell in love and stayed. She took in an ever-increasing number of cats to compensate for the break-up of her relationship, friends said.

    O'Neill waited on tables in a Limassol pub, making just enough money to pay the rent and feed her hungry felines.

    Friends of O'Neill told the Cyprus Mail last week that they had bought a plane ticket back to Belfast for her, should it be required, and were only waiting for her pardon or early release from prison.

    [03] Drunk Georgian being held in the north

    POLICE said yesterday a Georgian national was being held by the Turks after crossing into the occupied areas in an inebriated state on October 17.

    The man being held in the north was named as 41-year-old Georgios Kessof.

    "Kessof, who had been recorded missing since October 19, appears to have crossed to the occupied areas while under the influence of alcohol," a police statement said.

    No further information was available.

    A total of nine Greek Cypriots and Greeks have strayed into the occupied areas this year, while 17 Turks and Turkish Cypriots have crossed the divide in the other direction.

    [04] Two remanded on drugs charges

    TWO MEN were remanded in custody for five days yesterday, after police found four cannabis plants at a farm in Frenaros.

    Sixty-year-old Markos Hadjitheoris Mastrou, and his employee Creon Aresti, 26, both from Frenaros, were arrested on Friday afternoon, after police found four huge cannabis plants in an orchard at Mastrou's farm. The two men were charged with cultivation and possession of cannabis.

    The Famagusta District Court heard that three of the four plants were around two metres high.

    The plants were found inside a fenced area in the orchard and were supplied with an automatic watering system.

    Police say Mastrou denied all knowledge of the plants when asked about them.

    [05] Fowl play as new hunting season starts with a bang

    By Amanda Harley

    THE HILLS and plains will echo to the sound of gunfire first thing this morning as the winter hunting season blasts off with a vengeance.

    With up to 50,000 licensed hunters on the island, an estimated eight million birds are killed by means both fair and foul in Cyprus every year.

    The Game Service has already released some 100,000 captive-bred chukors -- the local hunter's favourite quarry -- in preparation for the new shooting season.

    Such huge releases are deemed necessary to provide sufficient prey for the shooters as the population of wild breeding partridge has already been driven to the brink of extinction by hunters.

    Despite claims from conservationists that hunters are guilty of indiscriminately killing both protected and game species, the Hunting Association says that shooting helps "maintain the balance of nature".

    But as hunting fever takes a hold, for some the lure of the protected game population in the UN Buffer Zone proves too tempting to resist.

    The Troodos mountains are also popular for hunters and as an official no-go area they present easy pickings for those willing to take a risk.

    Despite repeated warnings from Unficyp, on shooting days some 25- 50 hunters up the stakes of the sport by venturing into the buffer zone in search of more game.

    "Hunters wear military type clothes and carry rifles, making them hard to distinguish from soldiers in the early morning mists," Unficyp spokesman Major Paul Kolken told The Sunday Mail.

    In such a sensitive area this can be a potentially explosive situation for all concerned.

    Although there have been no serious incidents in the past few years, there has been a constant number of minor incidents. On one occasion a year ago several shots were fired by hunters in the direction of patrolling UN soldiers.

    [06] Fake wall causes tempers to flare

    POLICE were called to Nicosia's Ledra Street yesterday as local shop-owners threatened to pull down a massive polystyrene wall put up for a student costume parade.

    The mock wall, made from polystyrene blocks and mounted on scaffolding about two storeys high, blocked the entire street except for a narrow passage along one side.

    Shopowners were incensed that potential customers were being forced to squeeze through this 5-foot-wide gap in order to walk along the pedestrianised street.

    "You can't expect people to negotiate an obstacle course just in order to buy a tavli board!" fumed one irate souvenir shop owner.

    Workmen began erecting the wall around mid-morning, hours before the students' history parade was due to begin, at 6pm. A catwalk for the parade was also put up in front of the polystyrene wall.

    "How can they encourage us to stay open longer and then allow something like this?" one shopkeeper protested, referring to the municipality's recent relaxation of shopping hours in the old town.

    The shopowners complained that the municipality was allowing Woolworths, which sponsored the event, a free hand in Ledra Street.

    As tempers flared, a group of shopkeepers threatened to knock the fake wall down. Security men from the nearby Woolworths Ledra superstore rushed to intervene. Police arrived and managed to defuse the situation.

    The fake wall was eventually pulled down by the stage hands, to be put up again after the shops closed.

    The parade, featuring 200 different costumes drawn from 9,000 years of Cyprus history, went ahead as planned.

    [07] Plan to halve water consumption

    By Martin Hellicar

    PER CAPITA water consumption in Cyprus has been halved in the past 25 years, Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous said yesterday.

    The minister said the government now aimed to halve water consumption yet again over the next quarter century.

    Themistocleous was addressing a Water Forum at the international conference centre in Nicosia which was organised by the Green party.

    He said the state was committed to a long-term policy of relieving water shortages on the island through investment in desalination plants and water recycling schemes.

    The government is forging ahead with an extensive desalination programme. The island's first plant is already up and running at Dhekelia outside Larnaca, and there are plans for a second near the Larnaca salt lake, a third at Ayios Theodoros in the Larnaca district, and a fourth at Zakaki, Limassol.

    Environmentalists are not fond of desalination. They point out that it is both costly and polluting.

    But Themistocleous insists that desalination is the way out of the water problem.

    Recycling schemes -- a more popular water shortage solution with environmentalists -- have so far played second fiddle to desalination in state plans.

    Yesterday's forum was attended by local environmental groups, members of the House Agriculture committee, and representatives from the Water Development Department, water boards and political parties. Its aim was to agree on a common long-term water policy proposal to present to the government.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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