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Ministry official fired over dodgy massage parlours

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Ministry official fired over dodgy massage parlours
12:02 CET+01:00
A high-ranking civil servant in Sweden's defence ministry has been sacked after it was revealed he was involved in running several Thai massage parlours on the side.

“We want to show that we take this very seriously. The man's sideline job damages confidence in the Government Offices and foremost in the government,” defence ministry spokesperson Nils Cederstierna told the Metro newspaper.

The defence ministry official's extra-curricular activities came to light following raids on several Stockholm-area massage parlours in October.

The raids were carried out in an effort to target rogue parlours that may have been involved in sex trafficking or prostitution and entailed a closer scrutiny of companies' finances.

"We have clear indications both in the trafficking of girls and that many deal with unreported wages and pay unreasonably low payroll taxes," Conny Svensson of the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) told the the Dagens Nyheter newspaper at the time of the raids.

The raids revealed that the wife of the defence ministry official operated three massage parlours in the Stockholm area and that he served as an alternate board member of the company that ran the operation.

The company is suspected of tax fraud stemming from fake employment contracts and unreported wages.

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) had records of 28 women receiving work permits in order to work in the massage parlours and the agency is currently investigating the company, according to Metro.

Union representatives at the Government Offices were against the official's

dismissal, which was reported to be due to “personal circumstances”.

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