NICOSIA - The director of the company which exclusively represents Ford in Cyprus faces arrest on his return to the country on Monday.
Michalis Michael, 54, the director of Michael Automotive, is in Portugal over the weekend for the Champions League final, which Ford is a sponsor of. He is wanted in connection with an alleged scam which saw used imported cars being sold as new.
Corruption accusations against a specific high-ranking civil servant have also emerged in connection to the case.
Communications Ministry Permanent Secretary Alecos Michaelides in a confidential note to Attorney General Costas Clerides dated February 18, 2014 named the public servant his Ministry suspects of corruption, bribery, abuse of power, and the issuing counterfeit documents, amongst other crimes.
In his note, Michaelides said the civil servant, in return for his “services” was given five Ford Focus cars.
The civil servant worked with Michael to allegedly defraud the state and taxpayer in various ways including registering used cars as new and in the name of another company which, was not aware of the shady dealings, so that it would not appear the export from the UK was being carried out by Michael Automotive.
The civil servant’s involvement was brought to Michaelides’ attention by the same person who informed him about the fraud scam involving the used cars.
The police has already arrested Michael Automotive’s accountant and the director of A. Ch. Car Leasing, 61 year-old Andreas Charalambous in connection to the case.
Charalambous was on Wednesday remanded in custody for five days.