Subject: News/Cyprus: Cyprus immigration chief jailed in graft probe
From: Melanie Orhant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Oct 21 1999 - 13:09:11 EDT
Cyprus immigration chief jailed in graft probe
NICOSIA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The director of the Cyprus immigration service
was remanded in custody on Saturday in a corruption scandal involving cash
for visas on the eastern Mediterranean holiday island.
Authorities pounced on Friday, arresting the immigration chief, the brother
of a prominent political party leader and three senior police officers on
suspicion of widespread fraud and corruption.
The issue has cast a harsh spotlight on the immigration department, already
notorious for its sometimes harsh treatment of foreigners caught on the
wrong side of the law in Cyprus.
Allegations range from a small number of police officers taking protection
money to turn a blind eye to widespread forgery in residency and work
permits, to civil servants taking backhanders to approve visas.
``When the government says it will take inquiries to the hilt it means it,
irrespective of who is involved,'' government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou
said on Friday.
Christodoulos Nicolaides, long-time head of immigration whose wideranging
powers sent many illegal immigrants to prison over the years, was remanded
for eight days by a court on suspicion of taking bribes to grant visas to
Many of the women, known locally as ``artistes,'' are performers in
nightclubs but it is widely believed that many of them also work as
prostitutes, either forced or voluntarily. A police investigator told a
local magistrate in the capital Nicosia that authorities were also
investigating more than 20 cases of residency permits being issued in an
On Friday, police arrested Charalambos Anastassiades, whose brother Nicos
heads Cyprus's biggest political party, and three senior police officers on
suspicion of involvement in a related case of issuing forged visas to
STOP-TRAFFIC is a facilitated, international electronic mailing list
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking in
persons, with an emphasis on trafficking in persons for forced
prostitution, sweatshop labor, domestic service and coercive mail order
To subscribe, please send an email to
Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message, write:
subscribe STOP-TRAFFIC <Your Name>
Inserting your real name (without brackets <>) after STOP-TRAFFIC.
To unsubscribe, send email to
Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message write:
To send a message to STOP-TRAFFIC, email:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Sun Nov 21 1999 - 20:09:52 EST