Car fraud drains Malmö of millions

Car fraud drains Malmö of millions
An unrelated car by the Öresund Bridge that connects Malmö to the continent. File: Jan Andersen/Flickr
Malmö loses millions of kronor every year because one in ten cars in the southern city is registered under front owners who amass cars so the real users can escape parking tickets and become legally invisible.

Malmö's ten most prolific fronts together own 14,000 cars in Sweden's third city, using legal loopholes to tie up vehicles to their names, regional newspaper Sydsvenskan reported on Thursday.

Malmö town hall last year lost 42 million kronor ($6.4 million) in unpaid parking tickets due to the expansive front network. Only about half of all issued fines were paid in 2013. To put that figure in context, the newspaper noted that the town spends some 30 million kronor a year keeping the road surfaces in good condition across town. 

The age-old system of using fronts, who in Sweden are referred to as goalkeepers (målvakter) and recently featured in the Malmö-based crime series The Bridge, allows cars that are neither insured nor taxed to be rented out. The system, explained authorities, has immediate benefits for its customers.

"If you rent a car like this you can park wherever you want, without risking fines," the Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogden) spokesman Christer Davidssom told Sydsvenskan. 

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