Police investigate black market for bicycles


The cases under investigation concern people selling tens to 10,000 bikes online.

Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Police in southwest Finland are investigating 10 cases in which a private operator bought and sold bicycles online without reporting the company to the tax authorities.

In some cases, the sale took place over a period of several years. The most important case concerns the resale of up to 10,000 bicycles.

The undeclared business activity was discovered during a criminal investigation into bicycle theft.

Most of the bikes offered for sale were from legal sources, but there were stolen bikes among them.

“This is the large-scale resale of used bicycles that has not been reported to the tax authorities. In addition to tax evasion, the seller could be suspected of having handled stolen goods if he knowingly sold vehicles. property obtained by criminal means, “said Detective Inspector Mika paaer of the Southwest Finland Police.

Public vigilance

The police department also posted tips on how to spot a suspicious bicycle salesperson.

If the price seems too low, the terms of sale or the identity of the seller are unclear, or if the seller is pushing for a quick sale, it may be a sign of criminal activity.

“If possible, you should make sure the serial number of the bike frame, the original place of purchase and the seller’s identity. You should also check their other sales listings,” Paaer said.

If a seller demands cash payment and has many different bikes for sale, you should contact authorities, police said.

The enthusiasm for cycling in the event of a pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has seen the demand for bicycles increase around the world.

Retailers in Helsinki reported a sharp increase in sales last spring, with some selling 60-70% more bikes than in 2019.

Sales of e-bikes have also increased, with analysts saying a new tax break of € 1,200 for bikes purchased for commuting would help continue the trend this year.


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