The investigation follows a Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper report about a 20-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan who claims he paid a Migration Board (Migrationsverket) employee 40,000 kronor ($6,750) after the employee promised to procure a Swedish residence permit for him.
“If these allegations turn out to be true, I'll be really appalled,” said Mikael Ribbenvik, head of Asylum Reception and Detention at the Migration Board, to The Local.
“We've handed over everything related to the criminal investigation to the police. Our internal investigation is to determine whether or not the man should be suspended while the police investigation takes place.”
The Afghan man, who is currently residing in Sweden illegally following the rejection of his asylum claims, had been renting a room in the apartment of the Migration Board employee.
While living there, the employee offered to help arrange a residence permit for the 20-year-old.
In conversations recorded by the Afghan on his mobile phone, the Migration Board employee claims that others with rejected asylum claims have paid between 85,000 and 120,000 kronor for a Swedish residence permit, according to DN.
The 20-year-old had given the man passport pictures and a total of 40,000 kronor for a residence permit.
A final installment of 10,000 kronor was to be handed over upon receipt of the permit, but the Migration Board employee never delivered the document.
“At first he said that I would get the residence permit within three or four weeks, but the time passed and nothing happened,” said the Afghan to DN
“I've been swindled.”
According to the Ribbenvik, the employee in question works as an administrative assistant at the Solna reception center near Stockholm.
“I want to stress that he is no position to issue residence permits. He works at a lower level with administrative tasks only,” he said.
The man, who is currently on sick leave, denied any involvement in the matter when confronted with the charges.
A decision about a possible suspension will be made on Monday, said Ribbenvik.