Three deliverymen in Paphos were arrested during random road inspections by immigration police officers, who said the job contracts had not been properly stamped, while additional reports said the young men were asylum seekers who had a right to work.
According to police, Paphos immigration officers carried out random inspections in Kato Paphos, where 18 workers in the food industry were stopped while out on delivery and asked to present their papers. An official report said two were Cypriots, five Europeans, while eleven others were third country nationals.
Three men in their mid and late 20s, two from India and one from Nepal, were detained during checks after police determined there was no impression seal from the labor office on their employment contracts. All three, who were later released from custody, are facing fines for illegal work.
Asylum seekers have access to the labor market but their actual start date may not begin earlier than one month after the date of submitting their application for international protection
It was also later reported that the three men were asylum seekers in the Republic of Cyprus, but there was no information on the status of their respective cases.
For employment purposes, refugees in Cyprus have the same status as do citizens, with no employment restrictions or requirement to seek a Labor Department stamp on their employment contracts.
According to department regulations, asylum seekers also have access to the labor market in specific sectors and occupations, but their actual start date may not begin earlier than one month after the date of submitting their application for international protection.
Police said the two employers of the detained men were also expected to face possible misdemeanor charges for employing persons illegally.
Police said they were stepping up efforts to combat illegal work, telling Knews checks and inspections were taking place in all districts routinely.
Two weeks ago, two other men were detained and later released in Kato Paphos after being accused of working illegally.
A man from Cameroon in his mid-30s had been detained after officers said he was working on a retaining wall fence at an apartment complex site without work authorization.
Officers also arrested a man from Albania who was working on a renovation project for a Greek contractor.