Absolut Vodka employees face bribe charges

Ten people who worked for Sweden's state-owned drinks maker Vin och Sprit are to be prosecuted for bribery.

The people being prosecuted are all current or former managers at the company, which makes Absolut Vodka, or worked there as external sales consultants.

They are suspected of trying to bribe managers at Sweden’s state-monopoly Systembolaget alcohol stores.

“We’re talking about a ‘petty crime’ concept, where small gifts are given to many people on many different occasions,” said Stockholm prosecutor Björn Blomqvist, who launched the case on Friday.

He said the total value of the alleged bribes was at least 640,000 kronor. The latest investigation had been more complicated than in earlier cases when he prosecuted Systembolaget managers for accepting bribes.

“It has been more difficult to identify what happened,” he said.

“In this case, they have tried to hide what happened, partly through using false names, which has made the investigation harder.”