UPDATED: Swedish woman fined 13,800 for handing in lost 500 kronor banknote late

The Local Sweden
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UPDATED: Swedish woman fined 13,800 for handing in lost 500 kronor banknote late
A 500 kronor banknote. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

A woman in Sweden was fined 13,800 for waiting almost two months to hand in a lost 500 kronor banknote to the police.


Regional public radio broadcaster P4 Jönköping was first to report that the woman was fined because she had waited too long to hand in the banknote.

Public broadcaster SVT then added more context to the story, and reported that the woman, in her 60s, had found the banknote in a cash withdrawal machine in late March after the person ahead of her in the queue had left it there.

But instead of immediately handing it in to the police, the woman kept the money and only handed it back after police got in touch with her in mid-May.

Police used CCTV to identify her, and she was fined for fyndförseelse – failure to return lost property.

She now has to pay 30 day fines, which amounts to a total of 13,800 kronor.

A person who finds lost property has to hand it in to the police in Sweden “without undue delay”, according to the law on lost and found property. The law doesn’t explicitly state what that means, but a delay of around a week is usually seen as reasonable.


If police cannot locate the owner of the lost property within three months, the finder gets to keep it.

500 kronor is worth around $46 according to current exchange rates.


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