Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos says Cyprus police do not take effective action to combat organised crime and that some cops even give false testimony or turn a blind eye on corruption.
Phedonos, the well known whistleblower whose public statements have often brought scandals to the surface and criminals to justice, went on live radio Monday to talk about corruption in the police force.
The mayor used some very harsh words towards the police leadership, saying they have proof of illegal and criminal acts but do not do anything about it.
He also said that police act swiftly when one of their own is being threatened but not when other citizens face similar threats.
Police know first hand that there are corrupted and incapable cops who keep getting favourable treatment
In a recent shooting incedent, 38-year-old drug lord Elias Mouzos was arrested for firing shots at an officer on duty. The suspect confessed the crime days later when he got arrested, as police learned that they effectively thwarted a murder attempt in the criminal underworld.
But Phedonas said police knew about Mouzos because he had told them earlier about his drug trade activities in Paphos, only to be dismissed by officials who told him the suspect was not in the country.
The mayor says police seemed to act swiftly when one of their own falls victim, while others remain in fear as law enforcement officials refuse to act unless members of the public file written police complaints.
He also said there cops who commit police perjury and that he is uncertain whether top police officials are determined to do something about it.
Phedonos said that four cops, who were linked to a murdered businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis in Ayia Napa in 2016, were assigned back to their posts and that an officer who tipped off Interpol Belgrade that Serbian hitmen were planning the hit in Cyprus was still serving on the force.
Drones over prison walls
The mayor also made more shocking revelations about prisons, saying that drones are being used to smuggle drugs and mobile phones to criminals behind bars. Often guards either accept bribes to turn the other way or simply are too scared to do anything about it, the mayor said.
“Late at night, there are flights made by drones that carry drugs such as ‘Dream’ as well as mobile phones,” said Phedonos, adding that it can cost €1000 to smuggle a phone, noting that all convicted criminals carry on with their shady enterprises uninterrupted.
Previously, the mayor also alleged that some cops are rubbing shoulders with criminals in his town, even having a drink with them while knowing full well that possible crimes were being committed.
Police have dismissed the allegations, saying they act professionally and within the boundaries of the law. Police associations also denounced the mayor.
But Phedonos insisted on state radio that “this is union work of the worst kind that they are doing these last few days, knowing first hand that there are indeed corrupted cops and incapable ones who get favourable treatment,” he said.