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Swedish Customs targets EU garlic smugglers

The Swedish customs and excise has exposed a garlic smuggling operation which operates across the EU and has Sweden among its destinations.

Swedish Customs targets EU garlic smugglers

A shipment of 22 pallets of the offending onion was recently seized in Svinesund in western Sweden, according to a report in the local Strömstads Tidning daily.

High EU import tariffs have rendered the humble vegetable, a must have for a range of culinary dishes, a valuable commodity.

To circumnavigate the punitive tolls, the shipments of garlic are instead fenced through Norway, a country which allows duty-free imports, before finding their way onto the streets of Sweden and other EU countries.

The EU Commission’s anti-fraud office estimates that garlic worth a total of 150 million kronor ($19.2 million) has been smuggled into the EU via Norway.

“The charges for a single shipment, around 22 pallets, amounts to 320,000 kronor,” said Gunnar Oleniusson at the Swedish customs in Svinesund.

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CRIMINAL

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

An erroneous press release published on Friday indicating that Swedish firm Fingerprint Cards had been acquired by Samsung led to a sharp rise in the firm's stock and a criminal investigation once the mistake had been discovered.

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

“An investigation has shown that the company followed its routines and was subjected to a deliberate fraud attempt,” business wire service Cision, the firm responsible for publishing the press release, said in a statement on Friday.

Fingerprint Cards, a Gothenburg-based biometric technology firm, issued a denial on its homepage on Friday that it had been acquired by the Korean electronics giant.

“The news in today’s media that Fingerprint Cards AB has been acquired by Samsung is incorrect… What has happened will be reported to the police and to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority,” the firm wrote.

The matter is now being handled by the Swedish Economic Crimes Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) which has opened a preliminary investigation into aggravated fraud.

Trading in the company’s stock was halted as soon as the abnormal share fluctuations were detected on Friday morning and all trades completed between 10.17am and 10.34 have been nullified.

Fingerprint Cards’ stock has been one of the Stockholm exchange’s strongest performers since the turn of the year, having climbed over 320 percent since January 1st.

The latest Apple Iphone incorporates the firm’s fingerprint sensor.

All trades from 10.17am have also been nullified in sector colleague Precise Biometrics, which also climbed steeply on Friday.

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