Tampering suspects facing huge electricity bills

THE Electricity Authority (EAC) yesterday confirmed it has slapped a businessman whose meters were allegedly found to have been tampered with a £200,000 bill for unpaid electricity.

EAC Chairman Giorgos Georgiades told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the authority was in the final stages of issuing around 100 bills to people whose meters were found to have been altered to indicate lower readings.

Georgiades, however, declined to name the businessman billed.

The matter emerged in December last year, after police arrested a 71-year-old retired EAC technician on suspicion of tampering with electricity meters, for a fee, and adjusting them to show lower readings.

The case sparked controversy after reports that a number of prominent individuals and businesses were allegedly involved, paying Masouras to adjust their meters so they would pay less on electricity bills.

Accused of trying to cover up the affair, the government published a list of the names of those whose meters had signs of tampering. Their alleged involvement was discovered after police found the suspect’s notebook with the names and details of all his clients.

Georgiades said people had already started paying their dues, though it would now be up to the legal services to take further action.

He added those billed appeared willing to pay up their dues.

“From one or two big bills we’ve had there is good response and willingness to pay off their dues in full,” Georgiades said.

The amount due to the authority is understood to be well over £1 million. Reports yesterday said many people involved were eager to settle their bills in order to use it as a mitigating factor if criminal charges were brought.