Guilty verdicts in ‘Systemet’ bribery case

A senior executive and a secretary at a Swedish alcoholic drinks wholesaler have been convicted of paying 190,000 kronor in bribes to 18 store managers at the Systembolaget alcohol retain monopoly chain.

Niklas Davidsson, deputy chief executive at Vin-Tradgårdh, was fined and given a suspended prison sentence. His secretary was also fined following the verdict from Stockholm District Court.

The 18 store managers were also convicted of accepting financial bribes, and were given fines. They were also told to repay to the state the amount that they received in bribes and to pay for part of the cost of their state-funded defence team.

The case is the first in a series involving a total of 77 Systembolaget employees and fifteen wholesalers.

Another case is due to open in Helsingborg in January, in which store managers are again accused of accepting bribes from Vin-Trädgårdh.

The Systembolaget bribery scandal was uncovered three years ago, when documents from wholesalers emerged showing how much employees of the monopoly could earn if they met sales targets.

An inquiry showed that some store managers had promoted products for which there was little demand, raising suspicions that they had received gifts, money and free vacations in return for selling more of particular wholesalers’ goods.

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TT/The Local