Fraud suspected in Swedish Iraq project

Fraud suspected in Swedish Iraq project
Swedish aid money channeled to Iraq has gone missing, leading the government coalition partner the Centre Party to report the democracy project that its international wing managed to the police.

The democracy project in Iraq was administered by the minority party’s international foundation CIS (Centerpartiets internationella stiftelse), but accountants realized that they could not account for expenses to the tune of 3.2 million kronor ($490,000) between 2009 and 2010.

The foundation’s chairwoman, MP Gunilla Carlsson, told Sveriges Radio (SR) on Thursday that they had decided to report the shortfall to the Swedish police. The money originally came from the state agency SIDA (Swedish international development agency), meaning it is tax kronor that appear to have been spirited away.

“We did an internal project review when we were set to report back to SIDA and the inconsistencies we uncovered pointed to a crime of some kind having been committed,” Carlsson told SR.

“That meant we had an obligation to report it.”

She added that the third-party accountants had recommended that the foundation’s board report itself to the police. It was unclear from SR’s reporting if the police had opened a preliminary inquiry into suspected fraudulent book-keeping.

TT/The Local/at

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