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State run casinos used for money-laundering

The four Swedish state-run casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Sundsvall reported a total of 161 cases of suspected money-laundering in the first six months of 2010, new figures from the Gaming Board for Sweden (Lotteriinspektionen) show.

State run casinos used for money-laundering
Casino Cosmopol in Sunsdvall

Casino Cosmopol in Malmö reported the highest incidence of suspected money-laundering, relative to visitor numbers, with 45 cases of money laundering during the first half of 2010, according to the figures compiled on request by the Siren news agency.

Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall had the lowest, with eight cases, and according to the casino chain’s CEO, Per Jaldung, the difference is due to the make up of a casino’s clientèle.

“Sundsvall is typically a calmer casino where the average age is also higher,” he said.

Stockholm topped the statistics with 10 suspected cases of money laundering, followed by Gothenburg with 5.

According to David Engstrand at the Gaming Board the figures have remained largely unchanged since 2009.

“There were 172 cases reported in the first six months of 2009, so they remain at a roughly consistent level,” Engstrand told The Local.

Engstrand explained the figures cover the number of reports from Casino Cosmopol casinos to the Swedish Finance Police (FiPo) and it they who then decide whether to pursue the cases.

The statistics also detail incidents of cheating and forgery, public order, and voluntary bans over the period.

While Stockholm and Gothenburg lead the statistics in all categories they are also the busiest casinos with an average of 33,600 and 27,500 guests per month respectively. Malmö averaged around 20,000, while Sundsvall welcomed around 15,000 per month.

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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.

The Local/pvs

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