Two dentists, husband and wife, were remanded for eight days on Wednesday facing a number of charges involving allegations of using fraudulent diplomas and violating dentist registration laws.
(Click here for an update to the story)
Both were arrested on Tuesday on multiple charges in violation as per dentist registration laws, with offences ranging from fraud, incitement to commit a crime, document forgery, circulating fraudulent documents, and illegal gains.
The dentists, who are both foreign nationals and have two children, have been practicing in Cyprus since 2010 according to reports, after setting shop in the Strovolos area of Nicosia with a majority of non-local clients. Reports said they also have an office in Limassol.
Police were notified in 2016 by the Cyprus Dental Association, following a complaint launched with the organisation on suspicions that fake documents were involved.
Damning evidence against the couple came from a former employee who is said to have come forward in 2016 accusing them of trying to buy her a diploma to help out with the business
But after contacting Moscow authorities, police did not receive a response until two years later, in April 2018, which indicated that eight of the nine certificates were not authentic and only one diploma belonging to the husband had been verified by a Russian university.
According to ReporterCY, both dentists deny that their diplomas are fake, with the husband saying he neglected to register them properly and the wife saying she studied at a university and has been renewing her license without any gaps since 2010.
Reports also said the wife had registered under a different name, belonging to a person who completed her studies at a university in Russia where the suspect appeared never to have attended.
The defence lawyer for the couple raised the issue of delay on the part of police, telling the Nicosia District Court on Wednesday that authorities did not take any action since April but only arrested his clients six months later, after seeing scores of patients.
He also argued against eight days in remand custody, saying four days would have been sufficient as his clients would not be in a position to influence any witnesses and they have cooperated with authorities fully.
Damning evidence against the couple, according to ReporterCy, came from a former employee who is said to have come forward in 2016 when she accused the couple of trying to buy her a diploma to help out with the business.
She became suspicious, according to the allegations, when she overheard the male dentist on the phone telling another person he could get any diploma he wanted from Greece, at which point she launched a complaint with the association.