An audit of the Municipality of Paralimni revealed a litany of irregularities and failures, including non-monitoring of construction works under its jurisdiction, waste of money, illegal interventions on the coast and embezzlement of funds potentials.
According to the report released on Thursday, the audit service found that the mayors of Paralimni, Ayia Napa, Dherynia and Sotira, have created a limited company that functions as a coordinator between the local authorities and the local bishopric and others. .
“We discovered that the company, unacceptably, received commissions for 63 projects worth an estimated 96.5 million euros, which are carried out by local authorities with public money and set the payment of an annual contribution to the company by the local authorities. “
The company also took charge of the drafting of a study for an amount of 103,000 €, relating to the planning of development projects in the district.
The report says a number of hotels in the area have undergone renovations and expansions, including additional floors, without obtaining the necessary building permits and without the municipality taking action.
“We have asked the municipality to send a detailed report indicating whether the work is taking place without a permit, the measures they have taken or are planning to take, as well as whether the municipality has issued operating permits … without any response” , indicates the report.
He noted that under a legal arrangement approved in 2019, hotels can operate for five years without an operating permit, “but that does not mean that construction work without a permit ceases to be a criminal offense.” .
The municipality, led by Theodoros Pirillis de Disy, has also taken no action regarding public swimming pools and gas stations operating in the area without permission as they do not have final approval. The case concerns the inspections that the municipality’s technical departments should carry out during construction, according to the report.
It has also intervened, without authorization from the government, on several beaches and at sea, including rock work, the construction of earth walkways and other earthworks.
Works were also awarded to contractors without a public tender, based on the cost of previous contracts which were no longer in force.
“We also observed the council’s approval of payments after the fact, following a briefing from the mayor.”
The municipality also appears to have washed its hands of the apparent violation of a building permit issued for 21 dwellings, which turned out to be 30 in the end.
Two of the 30 houses were built in a space reserved as a “green space”.
The municipality said it was the responsibility of the civil engineer and not theirs.
“However, we consider it unacceptable that the municipality does not take action against the owner, the contractor and the civil engineer,” said the audit report.
The audit also identified weaknesses in the internal audit system.
According to the report, the assets of the local authority have not been recorded to confirm their existence, while no records of money transfers have been kept.
In addition, the municipality did not sue when taxes and other payments were delayed and did not have any court records.
Large quantities of expensive items such as utility poles, water pipes, deckchairs and umbrellas were stored in a fenced area without being registered anywhere.
At the end of March 2014, the municipality noted that there was about 109,502 € missing in the cash register of an employee who receives money.
The case was reported to the police in June 2014.