Billing scandal rocks Swedish Red Cross

Billing scandal rocks Swedish Red Cross
The Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset) has been shaken by a fraud scandal involving the organization’s former head of communications.

In late May, then-communications head Johan af Donner was asked to leave the Red Cross following an internal investigation which revealed shortcomings in procurement procedures.

According to a statement from the organization, af Donner left due to “a loss of trust between him and management”.

The preliminary investigation revealed that af Donner had submitted suspicious invoices for educational material to the Red Cross finance department on a number of occasions.

Following a more thorough investigation by Red Cross and external accountants into the suspected fraudulent invoices, the organization elected to report af Donner to the police.

“Johan af Donner has violated our internal rules and procedures. We’ve filed a complaint with the police and view what happened very seriously,” said Swedish Red Cross secretary general Christer Zettergren in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the TT news agency, the case involved outright fraud running into the millions of kronor, but Zettergren told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper he couldn’t confirm the figure as the investigation was ongoing.

“It clearly involves invoices but I wouldn’t call them false invoices. What he did is create economic benefits for himself. And regardless of how big or little the amount is, it’s really tragic and that’s why we’re handling it like this,” Zettergren told DN.

Af Donner refused to comment to TT or DN on the alleged fraud or the continuing investigation.

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