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Cyprus Ports authority says nothing untoward in ‘port within a port’ claims

The Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) on Tuesday said it has looked into alleged illegal activities within the port of Limassol and found nothing untoward.

In a statement, the CPA said that following an in-depth investigation it carried out “the allegations in question are not in any way substantiated and bear no relation to reality.”

The allegations, reported earlier in the media, are understood to have come from DP World Limassol, which holds the concession to operate the multi-purpose terminal in Limassol. The concession holder operates the main cruise port in Limassol, and acts as the principal logistics support base for the offshore energy sector.

According to the allegations, the CPA was permitting the illicit use, by a third company, of the part of the port under the CPA’s control, with media reports speaking of the existence of “a port within the port.”

The CPA was alleged to have rented out space to this third company, in apparent violation of the terms of the port concession.

DP World Limassol claimed that the ships of this third company (not named in the press) were in fact transporting cargo, whereas on paper it was declared – supposedly fraudulently – that the ships approached the pier carrying spare parts.

Earlier media reports said that DP World Limassol had furnished documents to support its case, including information on the ships of this third company as well as specific dates of this activity.

DP World Limassol alleged that these illicit operations contravened the agreement signed between them and the state (the CPA), as the concession agreement stipulates that port operations are exclusively done by the concession holder and no one else.

Having been apprised of these claims, the transport ministry had asked the CPA to look into the matter and report back.

It’s understood the allegations surfaced about a month ago. Transport Minister Alexis Vafeadis was earlier quoted as saying he was awaiting the CPA’s findings. Once the CPA provided its findings, the ministry would decide whether to conduct its own investigation into the matter.

The CPA itself said that it completed its probe on April 28, it found no wrongdoing, and that it has relayed its findings to the recipients of the allegations – meaning the transport ministry.

“The CPA notes its surprise, given that such allegations are being repeated by a person who does not disclose their identity, possibly to serve other interests, which the CPA does not know what they might be,” the statement read.

“No violation of the Limassol port concession agreements has occurred. As such, the allegations do not hold up.”

The CPA added: “From the investigation it transpires that nothing untoward is occurring, and that on the contrary the actions of the CPA ensure faithful implementation of the concession agreements, with no favourable treatment of companies or associates of the CPA who operate within the space managed by the CPA in the port of Limassol.”

It went on to assure the public that it “always acts with transparency, accountability and legitimacy, the guiding principles of the organisation.”
Source: Cyprus Mail

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