Authorities expressed concern on Wednesday over disguised knives being sold in Cyprus and their potential for use in crime.
Speaking to The Cyprus Daily, police spokesman Andreas Angelides confirmed that a circular has been sent by police HQ to all department chiefs around the island instructing officers to keep a watch out for knives that have been deliberately manufactured to be portable, concealable and to look like everyday innocent items.
"All departments including traffic police and the Drug Squad have been issued instructions on how to identify these disguised blades
"The authorities are extremely concerned as this is the first time they have been detected in Cyprus."
The alarm was raised earlier in the week when custom officials at Larnaca Airport inspected a suspect package and found it contained 19 credit card knives with 5cm blades.
According to the police, the blades which fold into what appears to be a standard 2mm thin credit card are extremely portable and concealable but no less deadly than a normal knife.
Authorities are currently trying to locate and question a male Paphos resident whose name appeared as the recipient of the package.
According to Angelides, the law prohibits carrying blades or other potentially dangerous weapons with sharp points in public places and a ban exists on owning buying or selling disguised blades.
"We are warning that anyone caught with a disguised knife faces very serious consequences."
The spokesman added that the authorities are particularly concerned over the danger disguised knives present for police officers in arrest situations as well as the threat they present to airline and airport security.
An alert was also sent to Nicosia Central Prisons advising personnel to be vigilant and keep an eye out for blades disguised as everyday items.
A quick online search reveals a wide variety of disguised knives, such as lipstick knives, mascara knives, telephone knives, comb knives, brush knives and lighter knives, to name but a few.