in-cyprus Justice Minister: Anti-Poaching Squad shut down due to shortage of cases

Justice Minister: Anti-Poaching Squad shut down due to shortage of cases

Justice Minister Yiorgos Savvides has responded to the outcry over the shutting down last month of the Anti-Poaching Squad of the Cyprus Police’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in a confidential letter to the House of Representatives dated November 22 that was seen by Phileleftheros.

The Minister was responding to questions posed by Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis to Savvides’ predecessor Ionas Nicolaou about 2.5 years ago on  July 28, 2017.

Perdikis had called Nicolaou to provide an update on complaints submitted against the Anti-Poaching Squad regarding “unorthodox and inefficient practices” as well as reported meetings with political figures of the Famagusta district and members of the underworld.

Savvides responded on behalf of his predecessor without addressing the above accusations, stating the reasons for shutting down the Anti-Poaching Squad. Namely he cited lack of activity as reason for its discontinuation as there were 39 complaints in 2018 of which 29 were out-of-court and 10 complaints in 2019 of which eight were out-of-court, engaging five ERU staff that could be used elsewhere given the Police’s under-staffing problems. He also stated that ERU’s role had been intended to be a supportive one to the Hunting and Wildlife Service which has authority equal to the police one to perform its duties.

The president of the United Cyprus Hunters Association Nicolas Prodromou said in a letter to President Nicos Anastasiades last month that the squad was dissolved due to pressure from political figures connected to poachers who supply them with illegal game. He also told philenews that the real reason they shut down the squad is because they didn’t want them performing their duties.

The accusations against the Anti-Poaching squad are expected to be examined soon by the House’s Environment Committee after a letter sent by Perdikis to the committee president and Akel MP Adamos Adamou. Perdikis emphasised in the same letter that if these accusations are proven to be true then the squad’s dissolution will have proven a dangerous decision with potentially irreparable consequences on Cyprus fauna.

Top Stories

New record number of new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday: 152

The Health Ministry announced 153 new COVID-19 cases on 20 October, out of 4,410 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 2, 839. The break-down of...

Stench in Kokkinotrimithia and Mammari due to farms and burned garbage

Citizens of Kokkinotrimithia and Mammari contacted philenews and complained that at the Kafkalla location some people threw a huge quantity of garbage and set...

Police chasing suspects in Paphos

Members of the Anti-Narcotics Unit who were watching some suspects for drug trafficking, according to first information, chased a suspicious vehicle which tried to...

71-year-old dead in accident

During an accident that took place this morning in the district of Nicosia, 71-year-old Andreas Alexandrou from Kato Moni of Nicosia District lost his...

Rain and hail in Lympia and Xylotympou (PHOTOS)

Rain and hail were seen in various areas of Cyprus. Social media users published photos from Lympia and Xylotympou. (philenews)

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...