Major social insurance fraud leads to arrests

Police have arrested a number of people following revelations that the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) has been the victim a major fraud operation thought to be worth tens of millions of kronor. Among those arrested is a former agency employee.

According to director general Curt Malmborg, the agency has never before experienced fraud on this scale. But he is pleased that the justice system has been so quick to react.

“We have high security at the Social Insurance Agency since we deal in large sums and pay out to a lot of people.

“We enjoy good cooperation with police and prosecutors. This has meant that we have quickly been able to launch a preliminary investigation and secure the money,” said Malmborg in a statement.

Police have not released details on the number of people arrested or the exact amount of money involved.


Sweden extradites suspected PKK terror group member to Turkey

Sweden has extradited a convicted member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to Turkey as Ankara presses Stockholm for further steps in return for its membership in NATO, state media reported on Saturday.

Sweden extradites suspected PKK terror group member to Turkey

Mahmut Tat, who was sentenced to six years and 10 months in jail for PKK membership in Turkey, fled to Sweden in 2015 but his asylum request was rejected.

Tat arrived in Istanbul on Friday night having been detained by Swedish police, the Anadolu news agency reported.

He was taken by Turkish police soon after arriving at Istanbul airport and referred to court on Saturday, the private NTV broadcaster reported.

Turkey has accused Finland and Sweden in particular of providing a safe haven for outlawed Kurdish groups it deems “terrorists”, and held back on ratifying their NATO bids despite an agreement in Madrid in June.

NATO ambitions

Finland and Sweden dropped decades of military non-alignment and sought to join NATO in May, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The decision requires a consensus within the US-led defence alliance, but only Turkey and Hungary are yet to ratify their membership.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held trilateral talks with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts on the margins of a NATO meeting in Bucharest this week.

“The statements (coming out of Sweden) are good, the determination is good but we need to see concrete steps,” Cavusoglu said.

Ankara has said it expects Stockholm to take action on issues including the extradition of criminals and freezing of terror assets.