Tallinn's ticket controllers accused of fraud

  • 2000-10-19
  • Bjorn Viir
TALLINN - Transportation officials suspects its public transportation ticket-controllers of having pocketed more than one million kroons ($54,500) in fines and is now ready to request the police to begin criminal investigations.

The department explained that since the beginning of August last year, 2,500 forms for issuing fines have gone missing, suggesting that controllers have been handing out fines and pocketing the money.

Multiplying the number of missing forms with the maximum fine of 460 kroons, it is conceivable the city has been cheated of up to 1.15 million kroons in fines, assistant mayor Priit Vilba told Eesti Paevaleht. However, according to Viktor Vassilijev of the municipality, the amount could be as large as 12-14 million kroons per year, the business daily Aripaev reported.

Another method of fraud - not giving receipts for the fines - has also been confirmed. The targets were mainly Finnish tourists. The controllers in all likelihood decided upon an amount for the fine and gave no receipts, Eesti Paevaleht reported. Mati Songisepp, head of Tallinn City Transportation Department, did not want to comment on the matter as long as there was no evidence.

"I will give comments on this matter after I have received an answer from the police department. The media is turning everything upside down," said Songisepp before throwing down the telephone receiver.