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Ports Authority responds to accusations about Limassol port

The Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) has responded to claims that it has been enabling misconduct at Limassol port by effectively creating a “port within the port”, saying its investigation into the matter has concluded that nothing untoward is happening.

A month after the claims came to light, the CPA has issued an announcement: “In regards to reports on a news site regarding claims of ‘illegal activities at Limassol port” and the ‘creation of a port within the port’, the Cyprus Ports Authority announces that, on the instructions of the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, but also on our own accord, after the Authority was notified about the complaint, it carried out a thorough investigation with all the parties involved, which was completed on 28 April 2023, and then sent to the recipients of the complaint.”

It added, “Initially, it mentions that the Cyprus Ports Authority has noted its surprise that this type of complaint is being repeated by an individual who does not reveal their identity, possibly to serve other purposes, which obviously the Cyprus Ports Authority is not aware of and has no say in. These complaints have been investigated before and rejected following an investigation in the recent past”.

According to reports, Limassol port’s operator DP World Limassol claimed that a private company was renting out space from the CPA at the port and running its own port. In fact, it was reported that the company, but also dock workers, had evidence and documentation proving that said company’s ships were transporting cargo but instead declaring that they were carrying spare parts. The documents, it was claimed, included the names of ships and specific dates.

The issue is that the concession contract that was signed between DP World Limassol and the state explicitly states that all port operations belong exclusively to the Operator.

The complaint had been filed with the Ministry of Transport, as well as the Attorney-general and Auditor-general. Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades previously told REPORTER that the ministry had instructed the CPA to conduct an investigation, and that it was awaiting the results.

The CPA now says it “rejects these claims”, which have come apart following the completion of the investigation. “These claims are not substantiated in any way and have absolutely nothing to do with reality.” It added, “More specifically, it found that there was no violation of the Concession Agreements for Limassol port,” and so it said the complaint has nothing to stand on.

“From the investigation, it appears that nothing wrong is happening and on the contrary, the actions of the Cyprus Ports Authority ensure the strict implementation of the Concession Agreements, without any favourable treatment of companies or partners of the Cyprus Ports Authority that are active in the area under CPA’s jurisdiction at the Port of Limassol.”

Overall, it said, the CPA fully supervises the area of its jurisdiction at the port, in full cooperation and communication with the competent ministry. “In the areas that have not been conceded to the private operators, it fully implements the observance of the terms of the permits for the use of premises granted by the Authority to third parties in the areas that are managed by the CPA at Limassol port, including the terms for non-violation of the Concession Agreements, for which there are strict safety clauses,” said the CPA.

In concluding, it said, the CPA “assures that it always operates under transparency, clarity and legality, which are principles that govern the authority’s operation”.

(Source: REPORTER)

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