State strikes at popular pastime
Towards the end of the week, several of Cyprus police departments joined their forces and conducted raids of three premises in Larnaca.
The teams made up of policemen from anti-vice, drug and rapid reaction departments have been engaged on the case for a while now, and in the raids they seized large sums of money, computer equipment, deactivated firearms and even title deeds.
One man – the owner of one of the three premises targeted - was taken in for questioning, charged and later released, whereas the police also arrested a woman from Ukraine who was illegally residing on the island, as well as a man from Pakistan, who was working illegally.
According to the Mediterranean Island’s Justice Minister Loucas Louca, the police had warned a few months ago that these enforcement operations would start. “And they will continue in order to deal with this problem,” he added. “We hope that parliament finally passes the relevant bill so as to offer the police further ammunition to radically deal with this phenomenon, which has turned into a social problem.”
A similar position was occupied by police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos, who said: “We have a legal and a moral obligation to protect and safeguard individuals, families and the wider Cypriot society at large from the consequences of gambling addiction.”