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ICA merchants could face multi-million kronor fines

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18:57 CET+01:00
Public prosecutors in Sweden are calling for ICA supermarket owners to be slapped with heavy fines following a food hygiene scandal late year.

Prosecutor Solveig Sörlien is preparing to press charges against the fist four stores found by SVT's investigative programme Uppdrag Granskning to have repackaged out-of-date meat and put it back on the shelves.

"I think the first indictment will be in March, and then I'll take the other stores step by step," Sörlien told news agency TT.

The owner of ICA's Nacka store will be first to face charges, followed by merchants from the chain's Botkyrka, Haninge and Södertälje outlets.

While breaches of food safety regulations generally carry relatively small fines, Solveig Sörlien is preparing to produce a more powerful weapon from her armoury: She argues that the merchants should be required to pay so-called company fines.

A company fine can range from 5,000 to 10 million kronor.

"I want to know the extent of this and what the profits have been like before using this information to calculate the company fine," said Sörlien.

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