Czech electricity supplier blackmails consumers using a combat unit

2. 2. 2010

ČEZ, the monopoly supplier of electricity in the Czech Republic, uses a "special forces" combat unit to take action against those Czech citizens who use electricity without paying for it.

The Czech police department for dealing with organised crime has now charged 32 members of the ČEZ combat unit with the offence of illegally entering private property and forcing non-payers of electricity bills to pay high financial sums for their "illegal consumption of energy". The targeted citizens were placed under strong psychological pressure. They were blackmailed by the members of the combat unit to sign documents admitting their debts to ČEZ.

One video made by ČEZ records a visit of the members of the combat unit at a man's property in the town of Poděbrady, in Central Bohemia, which ended in the man committing suicide.

On Tuesday 2nd February, the lawyer Jan Rytíř made available to the media a video of edited "highlights" from a three hour tape, confiscated by the Czech police from the ČEZ combat unit where the unit's action against the non-payers of electricity bills has been recorded.

The footage shows members of the combat unit being trained to shoot firearms, to use self-defence techniques, to abseil and to survive in extreme conditions.

Commentators worry that this is the shape of things to come: in countries where the state authorities are weak, large private corporations may soon operate their own private armies, they fear.

Sources in Czech, including video footage HERE HERE HERE


Obsah vydání | Pátek 26.2. 2010