A European arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday for a 54-year-old man wanted by police in connection with a fraud scam involving used cars being sold as new.
According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides the suspect – a Greek Cypriot Ford importer based on the island – was contacted last week by the authorities and promised to return to Cyprus immediately after the Champions League final in Lisbon, where he has been for the last two weeks.
“He did not return and the Legal Services have now ordered that a European warrant be issued for his arrest.”
He added that the authorities are probing claims that government officials falsified used vehicle documentation in order for them to be sold off again as new while the investigation is currently focusing on the Road Transport Department (RTD).
The probe was launched following a complaint from the Ministry of Communications in February and has so far seen one suspect – a 63-year-old local car importer – remanded in connection with case.
Investigators believe that some 1,500 used cars were sold as new in Cyprus as part of the scam which started in 2006 and continued until February this year.
RTD chief Soteris Kolettas has also been implicated in the scam and is currently suspended from duty pending the outcome of the police investigation.