• Sweden edition
 

Bribery scandal rocks Gothenburg

Published: 30 Apr 2010 11:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Apr 2010 14:38 GMT+02:00

"There is cause to suspect that several people have accepted perks which can be classified as bribes," said Nils-Erik Schultz at the National Anti-Corruption Unit (Riksenheten mot korruption) to news agency TT.

The investigation concerns the Gothenburg municipal housing firm Familjebostäder and the city's sports and clubs division.

Officials from the two organisations had difficulty explaining their relationship with the contractor Stefan Allbäck when approached by Sveriges Television's Uppdrag Granskning programme, which also claimed that several of the invoices submitted for public projects, and approved by the municipal officials concerned, contained gross irregularities.

"There were a number of facts and allegations which permit one to assume and suspect that some people have received benefits that could be classified as bribes. But it is difficult to single out a particular detail in the programme," said Schultz by way of explanation for why he had opened the investigation.

When SVT approached Stefan Allbäck over the allegations against him he initially threatened to sue the programme for defamation, which he claimed has victimized him since 2005. Allbäck explained that a police investigation was ongoing and declined to comment further.

Many of the accusations forwarded to the municipality that Allbäck referred to came from the ex-wife of one of the officials implicated, and whose allegations formed the basis of Uppdrag Granskning's report. Despite having provided a wealth of supporting evidence the municipality had previously declined to open an investigation into her allegations of bribery and corruption involving her ex-husband and Allbäck.

According to SVT sources, cited anonymously in the programme, in return for carrying out various private construction jobs for municipal officials, Allbäck secured contracts for various public projects, which were then charged to the municipality at a cost in excess of their value.

Further accusations were leveled at the officials for accepting paid holidays to the French Riviera, luxury restaurant visits and car repairs - all paid for by Stefan Allbäck.

There are currently no suspects in the case, which could be extended to cover both the receipt (mutbrott) and the giving of bribes (bestickning).

"Not yet. We are looking at possible bribery offences, then we'll see where it leads," said Schultz, who will arrive in Gothenburg on Tuesday to open the investigation.

The SVT programme shows that when presented with details of apparent irregularities over inflated invoices and work charged for but never delivered, officials at the city's sports and clubs division declined to comment.

Senior politicians in Gothenburg have responded to the allegations in the SVT programme by promising to get to the bottom of the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours buddy culture" which appears to have developed between officials employed within the municipality and publicly-owned firms and Stefan Allbäck.

On Thursday, the day after the programme aired, Anneli Hulthén, chairperson of the Gothenburg Municipality's executive board, called a meeting of all the municipal housing companies to discuss the allegations.

"I want to know if there are rumours over similar incidents in one of our other municipal housing companies. What are the control systems in place? Can we learn from each other? Familjeböstäder now claims that this could never happen today as they have new routines in place," said Anneli Hulthén to TT.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:39 April 30, 2010 by Streja
There is a factual error in this article Peter. It was not Allbäck's wife but Sune Larsson's wife.
14:41 April 30, 2010 by The Local
@Streja. Thank you for bringing the error to our attention. The article has now been updated.
16:23 April 30, 2010 by Streja
No worries! :)

I enjoyed the rest and might use it for a lesson next week!
10:47 August 3, 2010 by cosplay
There is a factual error in this article Peter. It was not Allbäck's wife but Sune Larsson's wife.
Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

974
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN