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Cyprus Police under scrutiny over unauthorized airport security exercise

Ironically, the Cyprus Police are now investigating how one of their own officers carried out an unauthorized airport security exercise without – at first sight – informing either the Civil Aviation Department or the Larnaca Airport operator.

Last month, the director of the airport security directorate at the police headquarters was able to pass dummy explosive devices through the checkpoint where passengers traveling through the international airport also pass, without being noticed by anyone.

The incident alarmed the Civil Aviation Department and Hermes managing company as well as the relevant ministers of transport and justice who instructed immediate action to be taken to ensure airport security.

However, the Police chief also ordered an administrative investigation into the highly embarrassing incident which is expected to be concluded before the month’s end.

Based on secondary-level legislation, no one has the right to carry out a security exercise/check at airports other than the competent authority which in this case is the Civil Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport.

This department is staffed by security supervisors and a supervisor – Civil Aviation Security Officer – all of whom are meant to be specialized in such matters.

The Minister of Transport, without underestimating the low level of security recorded in the incident – told stat radio that the competent authority for carrying out such checks is the Civil Aviation Department.

And that, in fact, an administrative investigation by the relevant departments of his ministry clearly shows that the check by the police was unlawful.

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