The Legal Service has ordered a criminal inquiry against four employees of the Commerce Ministry who were involved in a case of stealing from the funding of a project that concerned the promotion of Cypriot products abroad.
The case relates to promoting Cypriot goods in the markets of Australia, Russia, Canada and the US implemented during the period of 2007-2010.
The project had a total cost of €2.9 million and was co-funded by the EU by 50% and the Commerce Ministry by 30%.
Huge amounts from this funding ended up through illegal procedures in the account of a professional association that was responsible for the promotion of the product.
Findings from a probe ordered by Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis, who appointed an investigator on September 9, 2013, showed that forgery of contracts and amendments to dates were among the criminal activities that lead to the entire amount ending up in the association’s account.
Following the completion of findings that showed that there is a possibility of criminal offences by the ministry’s staff, the minister sent the findings to the Legal Service to take further action.
The Service carried out an evaluation of all data recorded and witness information and sent a letter to the Head of Police requesting a criminal inquiry against the four employees who will be questioned for corruption and bribery offences.
Lakkotryopis will also examine the possibility of letting go of staff who are still working at the ministry but were involved in the case.