The circumstances surrounding this collective system are being investigated by the police. There is a suspicion that the company embezzled millions of crowns from the operators of photovoltaic power plants, who paid advances to the collective system for the future recycling of solar panels after their end of life.
The investigators are dealing with the possible embezzlement of funds, while the damaged entities should have suffered damage in the amount of 24.5 million crowns. However, since this is only the reported damage of approximately a dozen clients, the total amount may actually be even higher.
The names of the brothers Karel and David Beneš appeared in the records of the real owners of the company. The police have already seized their property. “We do not comment on specific persons or companies. I can only inform you that criminal proceedings have been initiated in the case you mentioned, and therefore an investigation is being conducted,” Prague police spokesman Jan Daněk told Práv. Investigators from the regional economic crime unit are working on the case.
Solar panels are also mounted on weak roofs, there is a risk of collapse
The names of Karel and David Beneš were also associated with the company REMA Systém as, which is also a collective system, however, it only deals with the take-back and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment, and not solar panels. According to the public register, both Benes were at least members of the supervisory board of this company.
The spokeswoman for REMA System, Julie Melnykova, told News about the matter surrounding REMA PV System: “Our company is an independent legal entity, completely different from the company you mentioned, Rema PV System (XSOLAR REUSE SYSTÉM as), in which we do not have any ownership interest.” After all, this information is publicly available in the records of the real owners and in the commercial register”, she said, adding that the REMA System does not face any criminal investigation.
The company complicates the control of the MoE
On the investigation, the police cooperate with the MoE, which conducts its own inspection of the company’s activities. “The MoE checks the company’s progress, i.e. whether the activities of the operator of the collective system were carried out in accordance with the law. According to him, the operator may not distribute profits or other own resources in particular. Funds obtained from producers’ contributions and revenues from them may be used exclusively to finance the provision of activities and to create a reserve,” ministry spokeswoman Lucie Ješátková told Novinkám.
At the same time, she added that the course of the inspection is more complicated, because REMA PV System has been providing the required documents gradually, incompletely, with time gaps and contradicting a number of requirements of the MoE.
REMA PV System had around three thousand clients who operate photovoltaic power plants. As the operator of the collective system, which will take care of the later recycling of solar panels, it collected money from them as part of advances. According to the law, their mandatory payment applied to solar panels put on the market before January 1, 2013. The law was later amended so that the obligation to pay passed on to manufacturers and importers of solar panels.
However, regardless of whether their money was actually embezzled, the company’s clients will now have to look for a new collective system, as the license of REMA PV System expired at the end of last year and it did not apply for a new company, the Ministry of the Interior told Novinkám.
“Producers who fulfilled their obligations through this collective system have no choice but to switch to another collective system or fulfill their obligations individually. The MoE currently does not have information on where the former clients of REMA PV Systém as have moved to,” added Ješátková.
Insolvency proceedings have begun with the Malina holding
News asked one of the collective system operators, Resolar, if any former REMA PV System clients had switched to it. According to company director Veronika Šilhová, 17 operators of solar power plants have done so in the last four years.
“All these clients are actively demanding their claims/debt towards REMA PV Systém due to untransferred recycling contributions, therefore Resolar did not ask them to re-pay the recycling contribution,” Šilhová told Novinkám.
Eight companies in the Czech Republic currently have a license to operate a collective system to the extent that it also includes the recycling of solar panels, according to a document on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
The amount of the total deposit that the operator of a solar power plant placed on the market before January 1, 2013 had to pay to the collective system was based on a calculation according to a special formula. The operator of the power plant, which concluded a contract with a collective system before June 30, 2013, had to pay the total amount of its deposit in equal installments with at least an annual frequency from January 1, 2014, no later than January 1, 2019.
At the end of March, REMA PV System changed its name to XSOLAR REUSE SYSTÉM a.s., while Riad Charawani appears in the register of beneficial owners as the indirect beneficial owner.
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