Source AP ©

22 managers accused of bribetaking at Swedish alcohol monopoly

Twenty-two ex-managers at government-owned alcohol monopoly in Sweden were condemned for accepting bribes in exchange for offering certain products in stores. Scores of the company's managers, workers and suppliers were allured in the scandal.

The Stockholm district court convicted all 22 of taking bribes ranging between 2,500-40,000 kronor (Ђ270-Ђ4,350; US$390-US$6,270), the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter said on its Web site.

All those convicted were fined, but the exact amount of the fines was not immediately known. The court could not be reached after hours.

22 managers accused of bribetaking at Swedish alcohol monopoly
22 managers accused of bribetaking at Swedish alcohol monopoly
The newspaper said five of those charged had partly or fully confessed to accepting the bribes from the liquor suppliers Vin-Tradgardh and Philipson & Soderberg. The rest only acknowledged having received gift vouchers, money or checks as payment for expenses or loans, the report said.

The bribes were paid out in exchange for offering certain products in stores across the country, the newspaper reported.

Bjorn Rydberg, a spokesman at the state-run Systembolaget, said the trial was the fifth that has been held in a widespread investigation dating back to 2003, in which more than 100 people have been charged.

So far only two of 67 former store managers have been acquitted from the charges. Ten more are still awaiting trial.

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