Sweden appoints ‘anti-fraud general’ to counter abuse of coronavirus support packages

Sweden appoints 'anti-fraud general' to counter abuse of coronavirus support packages
Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson announced the anti-fraud strategy on Thursday. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
The Swedish government will appoint an investigator to help ensure that money intended to support businesses and individuals during the coronavirus crisis does not end up being misused or going to criminal networks.

Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday morning, saying: “In a crisis situation, most people think about what they can do to help out. That's how most of us work, but not all. Others think about how they can grab as much as possible of public means. We mustn't be naive to this.” 

“Every tax dollar that ends up in the wrong pocket is a theft from the public. The money we spend must go to crisis management and must not fall into the pockets of criminal networks,” he said.

The role of the investigator, described as Johansson as Sweden's “anti-fraud general”, would be to look into how the support packages offered by the government are being used, and raise the alarm over any irregularities or suspicious actions.

This person will also be able to propose legislation to counter fraud.

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The measures introduced by the government include a new system for short-term layoffs, state funding of sick pay for the second to 14th day of illness as well as a new fixed compensation for the first day of illness (which was previously unpaid), reductions of employer fees, increased unemployment insurance, and support for businesses that have needed to adapt their way of working. 

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