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Migration Board worker found guilty of bribery

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13:28 CEST+02:00
An employee of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has been ordered by the Solna district court to pay 40,000 kronor ($5,000) in damages after having been found guilty of bribery.

The man had accepted the same amount from an Afghan immigrant after promising he could arrange a residence permit for him.

The court found the employee guilty of bribery largely based on evidence in the form of conversations the Afghan recorded on his mobile phone. Among other things, the defendant's request for an additional 10,000 kronor and a recorded statement that he would “get an alien's passport” for the Afghan convinced the court of his guilt.

The Afghan, who came to Sweden in 2004, received news in April 2007 that his application for residency had been denied. He then “went underground.” According to court transcripts, he first met the Migrationsverket employee when he rented a room in the man's apartment in the Stockholm suburb of Bagarmossen.

Although he initially didn't reveal his illegal status to his landlord, the man eventually offered to secure him a residence permit for 40,000 kronor, a “friend's discount” off the usual black market price of between 60,000 to 120,000 kronor.

When the residence permit never materialized, the Afghan confronted the Migrationsverket employee, who attempted to unsuccessfully confiscate the Afghan's phone, which had been used to record their conversations. During the scuffle, the Afghan's shirt was torn.

A few weeks later, the Afghan sent a letter to the employee's boss telling him about the affair. Migrationsverket launched an investigation into the matter, finding that the employee, who worked as an administrative assistant at the Solna reception centre near Stockholm, had committed a number of violations. These included performing unauthorized searches of immigrants' personal information.

The matter was then turned over to Swedish police. In March 2009, the employee was charged with bribery and suspended from Migrationsverket pending the outcome of the case.

Since he had no prior offences, the Solna district court gave the employee a suspended sentence and ordered him to pay the Afghan the 40,000 kronor.

The employee has previously been suspended pending the outcome of the case.

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