Paphos police have broken up two beggars’ rings in recent months as they move to clampdown on fraudsters pretending to need help, Phileleftheros reported on Thursday.
It said that the police had taken action against ‘sham beggars’ as they were beginning to operate in Paphos. In one case a man pretending to have a serious problem that made his head shake uncontrollably miraculously recovered when he was taken to the police station.
In a second case, a man was caught begging in a tourist area pretending to be seriously injured. Medical examinations showed this to be untrue.
Phileleftheros said that the beggars brought in for questioning had large sums of cash — in some cases exceeding €400.
“The public must be careful in such cases as all indications are that rings from other areas or countries are trying to exploit the charitable instincts of Cypriots,” a source told the newspaper.