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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-01-27

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, January 27, 2002


  • [01] Stuck stud shuttled back and forth on a ferry 'over red tape'
  • [02] Man suspected of smuggling heroin
  • [03] Flying to London? Be prepared for delays

  • [01] Stuck stud shuttled back and forth on a ferry 'over red tape'

    By Rita Kyriakides

    A STALLION destined for a stud farm in Cyprus is stuck on a ferry after being refused entry to the island because of an expired health certificate. Ironically, the horse's name is 'Shorten Sail'.

    David Mountford, Director of Operations of the UK-based International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH), said yesterday that “because of red tape, the horse is being shunted back and forth across the Mediterranean”.

    The animal's owner, Yiannos Zorpides, is a Cypriot businessman based in Romania. He told the Sunday Mail that Shorten Sail had been heading for his stud farm at Lythrodontas in the Nicosia district.

    The seven-year-old thoroughbred had been flown from California to Europe and then transported to the Greek port of Piraeus to be put on a ferry bound for Limassol.

    “Unfortunately, there was a delay in Greece for 40 days because of bad weather,” Zorpides said.

    The horse finally left Piraeus on a ferry last Monday, January 21 and arrived in Cyprus on January 23, when he was refused entry.

    “I was told that the horse's US-issued health certificate had expired because it had spent so many days in Greece. Health certificates usually last around ten days and the authorities told me they allow for two extra weeks because the horse came from the USA,” Zorpides said.

    He complained that the blood analysis that had expired could have been done in Cyprus but the authorities did not want to cut the red tape.

    According to the Acting Head of the government's Veterinary Services Department, Andreas Orphanides, the horse could not be allowed entry because the health certificate was not in order.

    “The law says we could not let the horse enter. However, we allowed the horse off the ferry for exercise during its two-day stay in Cyprus,” Orphanides said, adding that the correct procedure must be followed before the horse would be allowed official entry to the island.

    Shorten Sail is still on the high seas and bound for Greece, where he is due today, Zorpides said. There he will undergo another blood analysis so he can be issued with a new health certificate and then he will be brought back to Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Man suspected of smuggling heroin

    A 48-year-old Lebanese man was yesterday remanded in custody for eight days suspected of smuggling 120 grams of heroin inside his body.

    Pierre Zeitan was arrested on Friday night after police at Larnaca Airport became suspicious over his insistence that he must enter the country. It was the second time the suspect had tried to enter Cyprus in 24 hours.

    He was turned back the first time by immigration officials who said he did not have the right paperwork.

    When he arrived the second time police arrested him and took him to Larnaca hospital. Police told Larnaca court yesterday that at the hospital, with the help of medication, the suspect passed two cylindrical containers wrapped in tape which allegedly contained 120 grams of heroin.

    The court heard that in a written testimony, Zeitan said he had been promised $2,000 to bring the drugs to Larnaca and hand them over to a Cypriot man.

    He said the man who gave him the heroin in Lebanon would call him and tell him who to give the drugs to.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Flying to London? Be prepared for delays

    By George Psyllides

    PASSENGERS flying to and from London in the next week or so are likely to experience flight delays following the opening today of a new state-of-the- art air traffic control centre.

    The new £623 million centre at Swanwick in Hampshire will take over much of the work of the London control centre at West Drayton, near Heathrow airport.

    A spokesman for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said: “We have warned that there could be delays for around 10 days but this is not a particularly busy part of the year for air movements.”

    Senior civil aviation official Savvas Theophanous told the Sunday Mail that although the island was not directly affected, they were aware about the possibility of delays on flights to London.

    He said countries had to notify the Brussels-based Central Flow Management Unit about their daily airspace capacity, which in turn informed companies about possible delays.

    Theophanous said it was normal when the control was shifted to new equipment for the controllers to be cautious lest something go wrong.

    The way to do this, he said, was to set a lower capacity inside the airspace until it was ascertained that the equipment was operating properly.

    He said the capacity would probably be increased daily until it reached normal levels.

    But the old centre at Heathrow would probably be running parallel to Swanwick for at least a month, Theophanous said.

    The new centre had originally been due to open in 1996, but was repeatedly delayed because of computer software problems in the new equipment.

    The delays meant that the cost of the centre was £150 million more than the original estimate.

    The Swanwick opening follows last year's part-privatisation of NATS, with 46 per cent of the company being taken over by an airline consortium which includes British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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