• Sweden's news in English

Benefits cheats defraud Sweden of billions

The Local · 16 Oct 2012, 12:36

Published: 16 Oct 2012 12:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that we would find such a mess," said Svante Borg of the agency to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The investigation was launched in December last year. Overall 26 companies that organize carers for disabled people were to be scrutinized with the help of police and other agencies.

According to the paper, the investigation was prompted after an increasing number of fraud cases were detected within the care assistance sector in Sweden.

It has been estimated that 7 percent of the total cost is eaten up by fraudulent claims, which would mean that some 1.5 billion kronor ($225.8 million) of tax payers’ money is wasted each year.

After ten months of work, three out of four companies have been cleared due to lack of evidence. The agency is still working on the remaining third, with analyses, intelligence gathering and in some cases preliminary investigations being carried out.

According to DN, the investigation has taken longer than expected as it has turned out to be more complicated than the agency officials thought before starting.

“When we started looking at these companies they turned out to have a large distribution into other companies, which in turn are linked to serious crime,” Borg told the paper.

Investigators also say that they have unearthed evidence that points to suspected human trafficking.

“They bring in manpower that they later move around. These people are getting paid on paper, but not in the hand,” said Borg to the paper.

Alongside the special efforts, the ordinary investigations into individual benefit fraud continues and after several tip offs from the public and other agencies, it is expected that there will be a significant amount of charges filed in the near future.

Borg told the paper that several cases like that of the bunny fraudster are likely to be unearthed.

Story continues below…

In that particular case, a man from Halmstad in western Sweden had claimed for years that he was bound to a wheelchair and as a result qualified for public assistance but was foiled when seen dancing with the life-sized bunny which serves as the mascot for the Liseberg amusement park in nearby Gothenburg.

The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:56 October 16, 2012 by Alohart
"After ten months of work, three out of four companies have been cleared due to lack of evidence. The agency is still working on the remaining third"

Hmm, math is a little challenging for The Local, it appears. 3/4 + 1/3 != 1
23:15 October 16, 2012 by McChatter
@Alohart Now you understand how they fiddle the books to the tune of 1,5 billion crowns?
23:12 October 20, 2012 by old git
can someone explain the small and tiny differences between analyses, intelligence gathering and preliminary investigations...
Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available