A criminal investigation has been launched into the Czech Post procuring hundreds of e-bikes for its delivery staff. Jan Lelek, the head of prosecutors in Prague 1, overseeing the work of detectives, confirmed this development to Novinky and Pravo, marking the start of an official investigation.
The Prague I Police are conducting the currently non-public investigation. Lelek did not specify what criminal charges or offenses are being considered about the eight million crowns, excluding VAT e-bike purchases from Kosmos bikes. Possibilities include gaining an advantage in awarding a public contract or breach of duty in managing another’s property.
With the initiation of criminal proceedings, detectives gain more authority and tools for their investigation. For example, they can request documents from the parties involved in the case, from financial institutions, or even implement wiretaps.
The police have requested documents related to this topic from us,” confirmed Matyáš Vitík, spokesman for the Czech Post, to Novinky and Pravo this week. The police have already begun to delve into resolving the case.
The Czech Post procured e-bikes for its deliverers at the end of last year in a competition in which only one bidder participated. Vitík confirmed that they bought the e-bikes through a middleman for 79 thousand crowns apiece. However, the same bike model from the manufacturer Crussis could be purchased in an e-shop for 37 thousand crowns – half the price.
In addition to the bicycles, the purchase also included other equipment. “The e-bikes for letter deliverers include transport boxes, bags, a stand, and lighting,” Vitík told Novinky and Pravo in August. He added that the price also includes subsequent bike service for two years.
However, according to the manufacturer, the e-bikes were not built as cargo bikes and did not meet the payload requirement of 145 kilograms as the Post required. The supplier specified a payload of 155 kilograms, but according to the manufacturer, it was 35 kilograms lower. This means the deliverer must also weigh 60 kilograms to avoid exceeding the manufacturer’s specified payload.
In September, Novinky drew attention to the fact that the purchased e-bikes may have another problem in the form of processing quality. A video appeared on social networks showing the bike’s unsatisfactory and even dismal condition after supposedly a month of use.