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Politician remanded into custody for fraud

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07:49 CEST+02:00
A former local politician suspected of defrauding taxpayers in central Sweden of millions of kronor has been remanded into custody on aggravated fraud charges following her arrest in Thailand last week.

Annétthe Zettergren, 58, was remanded into custody at Värmland district court on Saturday on two counts of aggravated fraud despite her denials.

The 58-year-old was arrested last week in the Thai tourist resort of Pattaya and was handed over to Swedish police on Thursday afternoon at Bangkok airport.

The arrest ended more than six months on the run after fraud suspicions surfaced last August following an investigation by the local Värmlands Folkblad newspaper.

The charges relate to a period spent serving on the Värmland County Council, the board of a regional development body and the local police board.

The Moderate Party politician also ran a physical therapy clinic that investigators believe she used to send fraudulent invoices to the Värmland County Council, to the tune of 4.5 million kronor ($695,000).

A few weeks after being reported to police, she disappeared, but not before apparently withdrawing nearly 1 million kronor from her boyfriend's bank account.

A warrant was issued for her arrest shortly thereafter.

Swedish media reports from the time suggested that she had taken refuge in Thailand in an attempt to avoid Swedish law enforcement and Thai police finally caught up with her last Friday.

Thai police have also arrested a 43-year-old relative of Zettergren, believed to have set up a bank account for her. The man is also suspected of overstaying his visa in Thailand.

TT/The Local/pvs

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