Cyprus Police confirm reports that officers in Nicosia have arrested one of their own in connection with an investigation into suspected smuggling of banned foreign nationals into the Republic of Cyprus.
According to daily Politis, a police officer was arrested on September 27 at the Agios Dhometios checkpoint in east Nicosia after it emerged they were six irregular migrants in his vehicle.
No arrest report had been issued regarding the incident but local media said the police officer appeared on Wednesday before a Nicosia district judge who ordered him in remanded custody for three days.
Andreou declined to comment on the rank and position of the police officer, saying' this is not important in any way, what matters is that he was caught by law enforcement agents themselves'
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou later confirmed the arrest, saying officers late last month inspected the vehicle of the suspect and detained him after they determined they were six banned foreign nationals on board.
Details about the six individuals, such as age, gender, or arrest status were not immediately known, with a police communications officer telling Knews no additional information could be provided beyond what Andreou has stated publicly.
Unconfirmed reports said the six individuals were Iranian nationals.
Charges in the case included corruption, abuse of authority, assisting in the irregular admission of a third-country national, abetting the illegal reentry of a banned foreigner, and other serious offenses.
Andreou declined to comment on the rank and position of the police officer, saying “this is not important in any way, what matters is that he was caught by law enforcement agents themselves.”
Additional reports did not rule out that the officer was taking part in an illegal smuggling network, with the spokesperson saying an investigation was underway.
Andreou said his colleague has been suspended and Internal Affairs have been notified, adding that the special unit was tasked with probing allegations of corruption and power abuse against law enforcement agents.
The Internal Affairs unit of police answers directly to the states’ attorney general.