The S-Bahn Berlin on Tuesday said it was considering firing the security company contracted to ensure riders have valid tickets after five employees were accused of pocketing fines and refusing to issue receipts.
The railway said cancelling the contract would be its last resort but that it expected Frankfurt am Main-based WISAG, the security company, to take demonstrable measures to prevent such fraudulent acts in the future.
Germany’s national police began investigating five WISAG employees based on complaints that stretch back to the fall, according to the Berliner Morgenpost. The checkers, known as Fahrkartenkontrolleure, reportedly targeted foreigners and pressured victims to pay fines in cash, which the checkers are then suspected of pocketing. If tourists insisted on a receipt, the gang threatened to call the police.
“The S-Bahn Berlin doesn’t tolerate any criminal activity from its own employees or the employees of service providers,” S-Bahn spokesman Ingo Priegnitz said in a statement. “We expect a swift and broad investigation from service provider WISAG as well as clear measures to rule out such events in the future.”
WISAG suspended the employees, S-Bahn said.
“I’m glad that we received tips and could investigate. Cheating by employees of a private security company is anti-social and ugly behavior,” Tomas Streithörster, the head of the federal police’s Berlin office, told the Morgenpost.