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Charges brought against former PostBus officials

The Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) has announced it will press charges against six people in connection with the PostBus fraud scandal.

Fedpol said on Thursday it was indicting the former finance director of Swiss Post – PostBus’s parent company – as well as five former officials from the bus company.

The six are accused of having misled the Federal Office of Transport as to the amount of profit recorded by the operator, which runs a nationwide network of routes and is a subsidiary of the state-owned postal service.

Allegedly, the six either ordered or at least consented to the falsification of documents in order to avoid cuts in subsidy payments, Fedpol said.

The case will be brought before the criminal court of canton Bern and will be centred around charges of corruption, serious enough for Fedpol to request prison sentences.

The charges come after long administrative investigations, which were complicated by the “enormous amount” of data examined. Some 70 people were questioned as part of the enquiry.

The scandal first broke following an audit by the transport office in February 2018, which found that over a period between 2007 and 2015, manipulated PostBus accounts had led to payments of millions in excessive subsidies.

The case led to the resignation of Swiss Post CEO Susanna Ruoff, as well as the dismissal of the entire PostBus management. In September 2018, PostBus agreed to hand back CHF205.3 million ($226.2 million) to local and federal authorities.