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Residence permit bribery probe 'likely to grow'

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Residence permit bribery probe 'likely to grow'
08:26 CET+01:00
A top prosecutor believes more Migration Board (Migrationsverket) employees will likely be implicated in an ongoing bribery probe launched after two employees were arrested on suspicions of selling residence permits.

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) is investigating a number of suspected fraud cases, after several of its employees are believed to have sold residence permits.

An employee from the Malmö branch of the agency remains held on remand on suspicion of aggravated bribery. And another employee who was recently released from custody remains suspected of bribery.

A previous manager, who currently works in another state department in southern Sweden, is also suspected of involvement in the scam.

"The ongoing bribery investigation is going to grow. I'll be looking at people both inside and outside of the Migration Board," state prosecutor Nils-Eric Schultz told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

The agency is also launching an internal task force to tackle the corruption.

"This is a unique decision. I interpret this to mean that the Swedish Migration Board recognizes that there are problems here," Schultz told the paper.

A spokesman for the board dismissed concerns that the bribes are a consequence of an increased workload for agency employees.

"It has nothing to do with efficiency demands," Migration Board spokesman Fredrik Bengtsson told DN.

He added that the task force won't be "hunting down individuals".

"We will be supporting individual workers where there are risks of them being influence," he said.

"I don't want to single out anyone, but these risks can apply to employees who are making decisions involving a fellow countryman, for example."

Bengtsson added that he could not comment on whether he thought the investigation would lead to the discovery of more cases of bribery.

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