The Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Cyprus is investigating the police corruption case related to the hunting for ambelopulias. According to an officer from the anti-poaching unit, the island has a well-organized gang that catches, using barbaric methods, songbirds and sells them on the black market. The proceeds of the criminal industry are up to 15 million euros per year. The officer who informed the Prosecutor General's Office about all this, receives threats to his address and to his family.
Ambelopulia (or warbler) - a small singing migrant bird, hunting for which is prohibited by the laws of the EU. Nevertheless, some Cypriots believe that once an ambelopy on the island was hunted for centuries, then it is not worth breaking traditions. A portion of a dozen birds is sold in a number of taverns at a price ranging from 50 to 80 euro.
In the name of Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus Costas Kleridis received a letter from lawyers representing the interests of a policeman who in early August gave a revealing testimony against corrupt colleagues. Lawyers ask to protect their client and his relatives who are in danger, reports Simerini.
The officer served in the detachment against poaching from October 2012. 3 August 2017, he provided evidence of violations of laws by colleagues who are associated with one of the criminal authorities in Larnaca. The officer collected extensive evidence of communication between police officers and the criminal world.
In some cases they "closed their eyes" to lawlessness, in others they did not pay for major crimes, focusing on minor offenses. For example, one of the guards paid a visit to the poacher's house, where he found only a network for catching birds. He did it without a search warrant.
Some of the materials on the corrupt police officers were stolen from the officer's car. During the investigation, he was transferred to another department. The head of the press service of the Police of the Republic of Cyprus, Andreas Angelidis, told The Cyprus Mail that an investigation against three police officers is in full swing:
"We have been dealing with this case for about a month, and the investigation is nearing completion. We appeal to the public to contact us if they have any information on this case.
Recall that in June 2017 the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus adopted a law on the protection of migratory birds. He was criticized by nature advocates, because one of the provisions, due to the increase in administrative penalties, led the poachers, who use glue for catching birds, from criminal liability (it is smeared on branches of trees, and birds stick to them tightly). In addition, the law allowed limited supplies of game to taverns, provided that licensed hunters do this.