Yesterday, the illegal funeral offices, which were found, last Friday, by members of the TAE of the Police Headquarters to be in complete violation of the current legislation governing their licensing, as well as that of their employees, functioned normally as if nothing was happening. The competent state services, instead of arranging for the issuance of court decrees that suspend the illegal operation of the six funeral offices until the trial of their cases before the court, allowed and allow the continuation of their illegal work, thus perpetuating, illegally, the burden of legal funeral homes.
The president of the Association of Funeral Services and Embalmers Mr. Maro Mela in her letter yesterday to the Minister of Interior Mr. Nikos Nouris, secured by “P”, complained that the illegal funeral offices continue to operate. Specifically, after targeted investigations by the Police, six funeral offices were located, three in the province of Nicosia and the other three in the provinces of Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos do not have the required operating license while the responsible owners do not hold a professional license. . “We would like to inform you that the specific offices that are facing charges after the raid of the police authorities continue their work, defying the competent authorities. “As an Association of Funeral Services and Embalmers, as well as the owners of licensed funeral homes, we ask the ministry to take legal action to remove the work of illegal funeral homes,” said Mela in her letter to the Minister of Interior.
They were given an extension
Pursuant to Article 8 of the Law on the Control of Funeral Homes and the Registration of Funeral Services and Embalmers, “no funeral home may operate unless it is provided with a permit granted under the provisions of this law.” The same is true in the case of funeral processions and embalmers who will have to obtain a license to practice after a written examination. It is also noted that when the mentioned law came into force, on 1/1/2015, time was given to the funeral offices until 15/11/2016 to legalize their facilities by securing the required permits. >
They work with… supply
The Association of Licensed Funeral Homes has been pressuring the relevant government agencies for a long time to control the illegal funeral homes, the operation of which also results in unfair competition. Apart from the fact that they did not build modern facilities or modernize the existing ones in order to secure the required permits, the illegals do not pay the legalized taxes, nor social security nor the prescribed fees while charging half as they are all undeclared. Extensive tax evasion is also observed by persons employed in illegal funeral homes, most of whom work elsewhere and thus have no claim for social security while their salary is nowhere to be seen. According to the association, illegals are collaborating with nursing home caregivers to pick up the dead for a fee. At the morgues, no check is made upon receipt of the dead to determine whether they are being received by licensed funeral homes.
Turnover of millions
As pointed out to us by the Association of Licensed Funeral Home Offices, there is widespread tax evasion in their area by the illegals. Pointing out that the state can easily determine the extent of tax evasion by illegal funeral homes. And they explained to us the way: Every year the deaths in Cyprus are recorded for statistical purposes. If we multiply the number of deaths by an amount of the order of € 1,500 that a funeral costs on average, then, the Tax Department will have a picture of the total turnover from which the turnover of the legal funeral offices will be deducted. The difference between the missing profits is huge, we were told. Always, according to the complaints in the illegal funeral offices, poor hygiene conditions prevail as they do not have the necessary infrastructure and equipment to make proper disinfections for communicable diseases, which means and implies for the health of the employees and the visitors.
Here are the 16 licensees
Based on the list of names posted on the website of the Ministry of Interior dated 11/12/2019, the legal funeral offices amount to 16 These are the following:
“Archangelos” in Strovolos.
“Archangelos” in Limassol.
«G & amp; P Melas “in Aglantzia.
” P.C.M. Ancestral Angel “in Paphos.
” Prayer “& # 8211; Holy Temple of Limassol.
“Assumption” in Lakatamia.
“Pantokrator” in Nicosia.
“Agios Georgios” in Larnaca.
“Othello Health Services” in Strovolos.
“Polykarpos Nikolaou” (Tamasou) in Pano Deftera.
“Galini” in Anavargos.
“Saint Raphael “In Larnaca.
” Agios Petros “in Nicosia.
” Venus Funeral Home Ltd “in Nicosia (inside the cemetery of Saints Constantine and Helen).
“Paradise” in Limassol.
“The Last Goodbye” in Lakatamia.
In the archive of the Road Department Transport is registered 110 hearses for which their owners did not pay any taxes. Tax-free were imported and registered in Cyprus. The president of the Association of Funeral Services and Embalmers, Mr. Maro Mela, speaking yesterday to “P”, asked: How is it that the 16 legal funeral offices have 110 hearses?