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MIGRATION BOARD

Migration Board staff hid documents in wardrobe

A Migration Board (Migrationsverket) official from Malmö has been fired after it was discovered that she had for years failed to register important documents and instead hid them wrapped up in clothes and behind furniture in her office.

Migration Board staff hid documents in wardrobe

“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.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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MIGRATION BOARD

Migration Board worker took bribes for passports

A court in Malmö has jailed a former Migration Board worker and his accomplice for taking bribes in exchange for residence permits and passports for asylum seekers desperate to stay in Sweden.

Migration Board worker took bribes for passports
The Swedish Migration Board's offices in Malmö. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

In a bribery case that first came to light in the summer of 2012, three men were charged with selling Swedish residence permits, forged Bulgarian passports and other identity documents to refugees seeking shelter in Sweden. 

The court gave one of the suspects a three-year prison sentence for taking bribes and helping to forge documents. 

The 53-year-old ex-case officer earned 450,000 kronor ($54,000) from taking bribes in seven separate cases, the court said. 

A 56-year-old accomplice was jailed for a year and a half for forging passports and other forms of identification. 

A second Migration Board case officer, a 47-year-old man, was cleared of the charges against him. 

Investigators found that the asylum seekers, who hailed from Africa and the Middle East, were given forged Bulgarian passports which allowed them to remain in the European Union.

Some also paid the migration agency workers to obtain Swedish residency permits.

The false passports gave the asylum seekers the right to remain in Sweden based on the residency rights afforded all EU citizens.

Suspicions about the scheme emerged after an internal Migration Board investigation, prompting the agency to notify police.