Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos is not impressed with police taking action against organised crime, saying he had told police about shooting suspect Elias Mouzos long time ago but nothing was being done.
Phedonos, a well-known whistleblower in Cyprus, went on the radio Tuesday to say that police suffer from incompetence but also lack of initiative in making arrests of dangerous criminals.
The mayor accuses police officers in the anti-drug squad of rubbing shoulders with drug dealers on the pretence they are after the bigger fish.
Police issued a response following the mayor’s comments, dismissing the allegations regarding the way, objectivity, and effectiveness of its officers.
"As soon as you ask them why are you not arresting so and so, they say they have information that he is living in the north"
“We reject categorically once again the accusations made against the police,” a statement said, adding that police indeed receive information and know things about people and situations “and act always after evaluating information and statements in a professional and responsible way.”
But Phedonos says he told police long time ago that Mouzos, the 38-year-old suspect who was arrested Tuesday for shooting a cop, was coming to his town and was even the man responsible for taking someone’s eye out with the shoulder stock of a pistol.
Police told the mayor that Mouzos was living in the northern part of Cyprus at the time, according to Phedonos, where they have no control over the territory due to the ethnic division of the island. But the mayor responded that he was the mayor and he knew what was going on in his town.
“This is the easy way out. As soon as you ask them why are you not arresting so and so, they say, dear mayor, we have information that he is living in the northern occupied territories,” Phedonos said.
The mayor also backed his allegations with other examples of drug activity, which he says remains unchallenged for similar reasons.
“We tell them that in two shops in Ayios Antonios they are dealing drugs. Cops go there and have a drink, and nobody breaks a sweat,” Phedonos said.
The mayor did not shy away from naming other places of illicit drug activity, such as behind the high school of Ayios Pavlos as well as a small ally at Moutallou Square.
“This actually happens, I’m not being irresponsible in saying this,” he said.
Phedonos also said he was unimpressed with a recent announcement calling for a special national crime agency.
“Nothing sounds good to me until I see results,” the mayor said.