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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-07-09

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Tuesday, July 9, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'Strong evidence' in Paphos hunt for 'The Milkman'
  • [02] CIBA president stands down
  • [03] Electricity consumption hits record high
  • [04] Speed cameras are on the way
  • [05] Fate of CYBC cats may lie in French hands
  • [06] Changes in law on bad cheques
  • [07] Hunters 'kill 20 million thrushes a year'
  • [08] Detectives arrive from UK to probe 1.2m bank fraud case
  • [09] Checks on sun specs
  • [10] Porters strike in Limassol port
  • [11] Weekend roads claim two lives

  • [01] 'Strong evidence' in Paphos hunt for 'The Milkman'

    By Jean Christou

    PAPHOS POLICE said yesterday they were continuing their investigation into the whereabouts of alleged British drug smuggler Brian Wright, who recently fled the north of the island after spending several years there as a fugitive.

    Last Friday, Paphos police confirmed there was a strong possibility that Wright crossed into the Republic and is hiding out in the area.

    Last week, The Times reported that Wright, the man alleged to be the mastermind behind a 300 million drug smuggling gang, left the island on a private boat and was thought to be somewhere in the Middle East. Acquaintances of Wright, a wealthy gambler and racegoer, said that as he felt the net tightening around him he put into operation contingency plans to escape.

    When Turkish Cypriots, acting in collaboration with British authorities, arrived to arrest him at his luxury villa in Lapithos, he had gone. His BMW, which was later impounded by the police, was abandoned in a supermarket car park nearby.

    Police said yesterday they believed there was a 75 per cent chance that Wright was in the Republic and "could be anywhere" since it was easier for a Briton to 'get lost' in the crowd in an area awash with tourists, mostly from the UK.

    Police are also monitoring ports and airports in an attempt to catch Wright before he leaves the island. If he is caught his extradition to Britain will be swift.

    A spokesman at the British High Commission said that police investigations had not yet turned up anything on Wright's whereabouts. He said the High Commission was co-ordinating with Paphos police since they did not have any of their own people on the island to deal with this issue.

    "On Friday, when the Cyprus police stated their involvement there was very strong evidence that Wright was on this side," the spokesman said. "There has been nothing since then to suggest that this has changed."

    The Times reported yesterday that Wright was believed to be hiding in Paphos while he waits for false travel documents to flee elsewhere. British authorities had moved to have Wright arrested after a man said to be a member of his smuggling ring was jailed for nine years two weeks ago.

    Wright had sought refuge in northern Cyprus in February 1999 after 15 members of his gang, including his son, also named Brian Wright, were arrested for importing 300 million of cocaine into the UK on yachts during the previous three years.

    The Turkish Cypriots agreed to invoke legislation dating from 1952, when Cyprus was a British colony, in order to aid Wright's deportation. The law allows the authorities to deport undesirables to Turkey, from where they can legally be extradited to Britain. The Times said that after Wright's escape, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash publicly confirmed his police force's co-operation with the British authorities.

    "The TRNC is not a shelter for foreigners with criminal records," he was quoted as saying. "Every country has the right to say to a foreign resident that they have overstayed their welcome, and ask them to leave through the proper channels."

    Wright, 56, nicknamed "Uncle", or "the Milkman", because he always delivers, is alleged to be the 'Mr Big' behind a huge cocaine smuggling ring and the laundering of the proceeds through gambling, based on doping and race- fixing which involves buying off jockeys in exchange for inside information.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] CIBA president stands down

    PRESIDENT of the Cyprus International Business Association (CIBA) Mehren Eftekhar has stepped down as president of the association after two years.

    In an announcement issued yesterday CIBA said Eftekhar stepped down at the last executive committee meeting on July 3 due to other commitments.

    The newly-elected president is Chris Koufaris, Managing Director of Kardex Systems Ltd.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Electricity consumption hits record high

    ELECTRICITY consumption hit a new record high yesterday as 40-degree temperatures resulted in power cuts in several areas of Nicosia.

    According to an announcement from the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) consumption reached an all-time record of 726 megawatts, which surpasses the previous record on June 10 this year by 19 megawatts.

    Power cuts lasting several hours were reported in Kaimakli, Vorios Polos, Pallouriotissa and Platy Aglandja.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Speed cameras are on the way

    By George Psyllides

    POLICE yesterday said they were hopeful speed cameras would help stem traffic accidents and plans for their installation were well underway.

    The cabinet on Thursday had decided to give the project the green light with the House already having approved an initial 1.3 million.

    Deputy Traffic Police Director Andreas Paphitis told the Cyprus Mail that there would be two types of speed cameras, mobile and static, and that there had been a few delays while the committee responsible for the project discussed the specifications.

    "They did not want to install outdated technology," Paphitis said.

    According to reports the committee has decided on the specifications of the system, which would be similar to the one used extensively in the UK.

    It is now up to the communications ministry to invite the tenders, reports said.

    Paphitis said it would be a five-year project and cameras would be installed gradually starting from motorways and key junctions.

    When speed cameras were first mooted, many deputies had raised fears that they could pose a threat for citizens' private lives though according to Paphitis this had been overcome and there was no issue of rights violation.

    "It has been implemented in all EU countries and no human rights were violated," Paphitis said.

    He added that there was no issue of rights violation especially considering the island's serious accident problem.

    Within 45 days of the offence, motorists would be receiving their fine along with their photograph - license plate and driver, Paphitis said.

    The fine would be handed over personally or by post, though according to Paphitis police prefer the postal method since it would save them a lot of work.

    But drivers should be warned because the cameras could also reveal other potential offences.

    If drivers are seen in the photograph using their mobile or not wearing a seat belt, then they should expect to pay additional fines for those offences.

    "Legislation also covers self-evident offences and any offences shown by the photographs would be reported," Paphitis said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Fate of CYBC cats may lie in French hands

    TWO EMPLOYEES from the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) have asked a French television station to make a film about the continuing plight of around 100 stray cats that plague the area, reports said yesterday.

    According to the reports in a Greek-language daily, the two animal-lovers are outraged by the alleged continuing abuse and threat to the cats by other members of staff, following a long saga concerning the cats.

    The two have written a letter to the House Environment Committee saying that a decision earlier in the year suggesting the CyBC create a special fenced-off area for the 100+ cats that roam the ground of the corporation, was unfeasible.

    The letter said that the area would leave the cats exposed to the elements and without adequate food or water. They have instead, the reports said, contacted a French television channel suggesting they make a documentary about the cats, which would highlight their plight in Europe.

    The House Committee for the Environment agreed unanimously late last year that the cats should be cared for, after reports that many CyBC staff tried to poison the felines, which have been living on the grounds for years.

    The Veterinary Department was also asked to vaccinate the animals and neuter them, to prevent the cat population from getting out of hand.

    The CyBC admitted that some employees had poisoned a number of the strays, which had 'invaded' the national broadcasting centre. Cats have reportedly sneaked into offices and caused hundreds of pounds of damage.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Changes in law on bad cheques

    By George Psyllides

    THE BURDEN of proof concerning bounced cheques would shift from the prosecutor to the defendant, according to a bill being processed by the House.

    The problem with bounced cheques has been plaguing businesses for years but the House in co-operation with commercial banks is now seeking to put an end to the time consuming procedures, which have clogged courts.

    The House Legal Affairs Committee was looking to introduce new provisions, which would simplify procedures concerning bounced cheques.

    If the bill is approved, bank officials would not have to appear in court to testify that a cheque did not have sufficient funds.

    The only proof needed, according to the bill, would be the bank stamp indicating insufficient funds.

    Lawyer Michalis Michail told the Cyprus Mail that with the existing law it was the prosecution who had to prove that a cheque did not have sufficient funds.

    The new law would shift the burden of proof to the defendant who would now have to prove that the stamped cheque did in fact have funds.

    "Until now the prosecution had to find the bank employee who had handled a particular cheque, drag him to court and endeavour to prove that it had been stamped because of insufficient funds," Michail said.

    In conjunction to this, banks are preparing 'black lists' with the names of clients who would not be allowed to have a chequebook.

    The list would take effect at the same time as the law, which according to AKEL deputy Costas Papacostas would probably not be passed before the summer holidays as the House's last regular plenary session is on Thursday and the bill was not quite ready yet.

    According to the bill if a cheque is found not to have sufficient funds, it would be stamped and remain with the bank for seven days.

    If the amount on the cheque is paid within that period then there would not be any consequences for the issuer.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Hunters 'kill 20 million thrushes a year'

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRIOT HUNTERS could kill as many as 20 million thrushes this year according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the UK.

    In an article in the Independent yesterday hundreds of thousands of Britian's best-loved song birds have been slaughtered by hunters in Cyprus after millions migrated form Europe and Turkey to escape harsh weather in January.

    The RSPB estimates that up to 800,000, equivalent to almost half the breeding population of thrushes in Britain are thought to have been shot on the first day of the "killing orgy." Under Cyprus law the birds can be hunted legally on Wednesdays and Sundays from November to February. However many more birds are hunted illegally with the use of limesticks, a practice the authorities are trying to put an end to.

    Guy Shorrock, an RSPB investigations officer told the Independent; "It appears millions of thrushes flew on to Cyprus and tens of thousands of hunters were out and shot a large percentage of them."

    He added that the number of songbirds killed this year in Cyprus could exceed 20 million when trappers begin setting nets and sticks coated with a glue-like substance for migrating warblers, such as blackcaps.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Detectives arrive from UK to probe 1.2m bank fraud case

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    TWO BRITISH detectives arrived in Cyprus on Sunday to investigate an attempted fraud to swindle 1.2 million from banking services.

    The detectives are investigating an attempt by unidentified people to fraudulently extract 1.2 million from a Nicosia-based banking centre by claiming a return on cancelled purchases.

    Head of Larnaca CID Andreas Krokos said yesterday the British detectives had arrived and would be working in co-operation with the financial fraud unit in Nicosia. One Cypriot national has already been arrested and released since the case opened two months ago.

    Krokos previously told the Cyprus Mail that he could not comment on whether any British nationals or international crime syndicates were implicated in the investigations. He said the CID was working on completing the investigations and sending the case to the prosecutor's office.

    According to reports, suspects demanded the return of 1.2 million from the JCC banking centre for the cancelled purchase of ships abroad. Banking authorities discovered on further investigation that such purchases had never been made, highlighting the possibility of an international ring behind the attempted fraud. The two fraud officers will be sharing information with Larnaca CID in the process of their investigations.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Checks on sun specs

    By Rachel Chysostom

    ARE our sunglasses safe? This is the question which consumer watchdogs and University of Cyprus researchers are trying to answer.

    The Consumer Protection Services department is looking into the quality of sunglasses available on the market, and whether they meet acceptable standards.

    One of Cyprus' leading opticians, Nakis Theocharides, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that people who buy their sunglasses from kiosks and unauthorised establishments were doing themselves great harm. Theocharides said the lens of a pair of sunglasses must be able to withstand both heat and cold, be free of bubbles or scratches and have the correct curvature.

    According to Marios Droushiotis, from the Ministry of Trade, the research, which will be completed by the end of next week, will first cover the sunglasses that are sold at non-specialised outlets, such as supermarkets and kiosks.

    Once those findings are known, sunglasses from well-known firms will be examined. Sunglasses classed as unfit for consumer use will be withdrawn from the market, said Droushiotis.

    Theocharides firmly believes that consumers must be informed as to what type of sunglasses they are buying. "First and foremost, the main function of a pair of sunglasses should be to protect the eyes," he said. "Sunglasses should not be worn in order to make a fashion statement. It's as simple as that."

    Nevertheless, ever since well-known designers have started producing sunglasses, he says that eye protection has taken a secondary role. That is not to say, however, that one cannot combine safety with fashion, said Theocharides, or that all designer label sunglasses are useless. What it does mean is that sunglasses have become more expensive, thus leading to cheap imitations at local kiosks and supermarkets.

    Consumers are tricked into believing that these imitations are as good as any expensive designer pair, or a pair bought at an optical specialists. But, as Theocharides points out, "cheap sunglasses cost $1 a dozen, how good can they be?"

    In fact, he argues, it is actually better not to have sunglasses than to wear a bad pair, since dark glasses make the pupil expand and if there is no proper protection, the sun's harmful rays can damage they eyes.

    The answer, said Theocharides, is take advice from an optician when buying sunglasses, whether they are designer glasses or just a good, cheaper pair.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Porters strike in Limassol port

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    A STRIKE by the Licensed Porters Association (LPA) over passenger luggage handling paralysed Limassol port for over three hours yesterday. The porters, responsible for stacking and delivery of cargo, stopped work from 10am onwards, leaving the loading, unloading and transport of cargo at a complete standstill. The strike was held in protest at the Port Authority's decision to grant the Cyprus Shipping Association (CSA) rights to the passenger luggage handling service.

    The Porters Association convened yesterday after the strike and voted to return to work in light of a meeting called for midday today between Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou and Port Authority chairman Christos Hadjimanolis. The association hopes the minister will agree they are the appropriate body to handle the luggage service.

    LPA Chairman, Stavros Stavrou, said yesterday the association had declared their interest in taking on the luggage handling service from early on but were ignored completely by the Port Authority in their considerations. He said the LPA discovered last week that the authority had assigned the service to the CSA with a five-year contract, which would increase their rights twofold.

    Stavrou said the porters had warned the Port Authority that they would oppose the transfer of the luggage service to any other body.

    The service was handled in the past by a number of individuals who worked as private entities. Sources from the Port Authority said yesterday the luggage service was a lucrative business worth around half a million pounds a year and needed to be brought under the wing of the authority. The four men who assumed the service until now have been awarded 400,000 compensation to terminate their work at the port.

    The source also said legislation covering the different services involved in loading, unloading and transporting cargo at Limassol port was too brief and vague causing many difficulties in the performing of such services.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] Weekend roads claim two lives

    A 65-YEAR-OLD woman, Nicky Panayidou, was killed yesterday and seven people were injured after a car accident, which took place at on the Akaki- Astromeritis road on Sunday.

    The accident happened at around 6pm when two cars carrying a total of 11 people collided head on. Panayidou was in the back seat of one of the cars and, according to police reports, was wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident. It is thought she died from neck injuries.

    Seven people were admitted at the general hospital in Nicosia two of which are thought to be in a critical condition. The accident saw the mobilisation of five ambulances and the fire brigade.

    The death of a 90-year-old woman killed in a traffic accident in Limassol on Sunday had been caused by the seat belt, the state pathologist said yesterday.

    Maroulla Christofidou was a sitting in the back seat of a car driven by her 83-year-old cousin who had his wife, 76, in the front passenger seat.

    The accident happened at 8pm when the 83-year-old who was driving along Amathunda Avenue, took a right turn and collided with a car coming from the opposite direction.

    The 90-year-old died in the ambulance while being rushed to hospital, reports said.

    State Pathologist Eleni Antoniou who carried out a post mortem yesterday, said that the woman died from haemorrhage caused when the belt fractured her sternum and ruptured her heart.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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