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Pressure grows on Swedish trade minister

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09:51 CEST+02:00
The storm surrounding the personal finances of Swedish trade minister Maria Borelius continued to blow fiercely on Friday, as it emerged that she risks being fined for irregularities in a share deal.

In the middle of September Borelius sold 500 shares in the company Active Biotech, in which she is a board member. But she failed to report the sale to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority on time, Swedish Radio reported.

"We should have been informed about this by the individual in question five days after the sale took place, and we haven't had that," said Åsa Arfmann, head of the legal department at the financial authority.

At the same time, it has been revealed that her family summer house in Falsterbo is officially owned by a company in the tax haven of Jersey.

According to Sweden's evening papers, the family has avoided property tax for the 220 square metre house in Skåne. The house was bought in 2002 for 6.8 million kronor by a company called Full Moon Investments Limited. The firm is registered on the British island of Jersey, in the English Channel.

But the contract was signed by Greger Larsson, and Expressen reported that documents from Vellinge municipality show that Larsson paid the council charges for water, sewerage and garbage collection.

According to the Swedish Tax Board, the set-up could be a way for the couple to avoid paying the wealth tax on the Falsterbo property.

"It could be a way to conceal the ownership," said Göran Haglund, at the tax board in Stockholm to Aftonbladet.

If Borelius does not now start paying rent to Full Moon Investments - at the market rate - for the use of the house, she must declare the arrangement as a taxable benefit, explained Aftonbladet.

Maria Borelius has not commented on the matter and her press officer said that she is off sick on Friday with a urine infection.

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