“We handle 300,000 applications a year. Each involves correspondence with original documents. We have clear routines. This is a case where one individual hasn’t followed the guidelines,” said agency spokesperson Fredrik Bengtsson to local paper Sydsvenskan.
A line manager discovered in January that the woman had hoarded documents such as post, foreign passports and other original documents pertaining to 130 migration applications since 2008, according to the paper.
Co-workers had reportedly long suspected that something was wrong.
As early as 2009, the woman had been stripped of some of her responsibilities and reduced to handling the post that came in from all over the world regarding applicants’ original documents.
However, co-workers reacted, as there seemed to be a lot of post coming into the woman’s office but very little ever turning up where it should.
When staff eventually searched the woman’s office, they found stacks of documents in cloth bags, wrapped up in garments and stuffed into a wardrobe. Piles of documents were also hidden behind some stacked newspapers behind a chair.
The woman was subsequently called to explain herself to her superiors but failed to turn up on numerous occasions.
Not until two months later she finally told her manager that she had meant to register the documents but had put them aside as she felt embarrassed to have to ask her colleagues for help.
After looking into the matter, the agency found that at least one person has been denied citizenship due to the woman’s conduct.
“But this application will now be re-evaluated,” Bengtsson told news agency TT.
After the matter was reported to the agency’s control body, it was decided that the woman would be sacked with immediate effect.
She is now also risking formal charges as a result of her actions.