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First arrest made in Gothenburg bribe probe

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13:37 CEST+02:00
A contractor with a municipal housing company became the first suspect arrested in connection with a bribery scandal that rocked Gothenburg earlier this year, a prosecutor with Sweden's National Anti-Corruption Unit (Riksenheten mot korruption) announced on Tuesday.

More arrests are expected, regional prosecutor Nils-Erik Schultz told news agency TT.

The suspects face charges of attempted aggravated fraud and aggravated fraud. The next arrest is expected to involve a person at a municipal housing company suspected of aggravated corruption and gross breach of trust.

The Gothenburg bribery scandal has grown since it was first uncovered in the spring. The preliminary investigations are now pursuing suspects associated with the management of the city's sports and recreation department, municipal housing firm Familjebostäder, and three other municipal housing companies and firms.

Municipal housing company Poseidon announced last week that they had notified police about a staff member suspected of embezzlement. According to a report in the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper, the individuals currently of interest had not previously surfaced in its reporting.

Schultz said that if all goes as planned, it may be possible to hold remand hearings on Friday. He believes that the bribery scandal may result in as many as 15 to 20 people being called in for questioning.

"It is extremely important that all stones are turned so that possible irregularities can be brought to light," city director Åke Jacobsson commented in a press release about the latest turns in the bribery scandal.

"Justice must take its course and within the city of Gothenborg, we welcome the continuing investigations. We will support the police and the prosecution in every way to facilitate their further investigations."

An independent report commissioned by the municipality of Gothenburg to review the accounts of the city's sports and clubs division amid allegations of bribery, has complained that the material is incomplete in a report submitted on Monday.

Sweden's anti-corruption unit opened an investigation into allegations of aggravated bribery against several officials in Gothenburg after revelations concerning a construction magnate were broadcast on Sveriges Television (SVT) in late April. The investigation involved allegations against Familjebostäder as well as the city's sports and recreation department.

Furthermore, an independent report conducted in early May by auditing firm Ernst & Young, which was commissioned by the city to review the accounts of the its sports and recreation department, noted that the material was incomplete.

While it found no direct evidence of bribery, the accounting firm said that important details over tenders and how contractors secured contracts were missing.

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