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Cop convicted for taking lunch salad bribe

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Cop convicted for taking lunch salad bribe
16:52 CEST+02:00
A police officer from western Sweden who agreed to let a beltless motorist off the hook in exchange for a salad has learned the hard way there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Instead, the officer has been convicted of bribery and sentenced to 20,800 kronor ($3,100) in fines, all because he asked for and accepted a 65 kronor salad.

The conviction stems from an incident which took place in September 2011 when the traffic cop stopped a man who was driving without a seatbelt on a Gothenburg-area roadway.

The officer duly informed the offender, a 50-year-old restaurant owner, that he would be fined 1,500 kronor for neglecting to buckle up in accordance with Swedish traffic laws.

The motorist's predicament worsened when he was asked to produce his licence, only to discover it wasn't on his person but was instead in his wallet back at his restaurant, an oversight that would cost him an additional 400 kronor.

Having escorted the offending driver back to his restaurant to inspect his driver's licence, the officer then presented the restaurant owner with what turned out to be a rather indecent proposal.

"The officer said he would forget the fines if he got a salad instead. I normally never give away food for free, but I was happy to avoid paying 1,900 kronor," the man said during the officer's bribery trial, according to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

The officer, however, provided a different version of events, claiming he was "joking" with the restaurant owner when he asked for the salad.

"He gave me the salad anyway," the cop told the court.

"I think we wanted to gain some new customers."

But the incident left the restaurant owner feeling unsettled, so he shared the story with a friend who was also worked for the police, who in turn reported his colleague's actions.

Despite the conviction, which was handed down by the Gothenburg District Court on Thursday, the officer was nevertheless allowed to keep his job after the police's disciplinary board ruled that the offence wasn't serious enough to warrant dismissal.

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