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Swedish embassy investigates possible bribery scheme

Updated fredag 24 mars 2017 kl 14.15
Published fredag 24 mars 2017 kl 11.50
Labna Mousa: She wanted us to pay SEK 100,000
(2:28 min)
View of Amman with Jordian flag blowing.
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It is not confirmed if the woman from the recordings is an embassy official. Credit: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Lubna Mousa
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Lubna Mousa from Syria was offered to pay SEK 100,000 for moving ahead in the queue for a residency permit. Credit: Karin Wirenhed/Sveriges Radio

Sweden's embassy in Jordan is launching a probe into the black market for skipping ahead in the queue for residence applications, following an investigation by Swedish Radio and Swedish Television (SVT).

The undercover investigation by Swedish Radio and SVT found that at least one person claiming to be an embassy official working with people seeking to be reunited with family members living in Sweden, asked for money in exchange for prioritizing applications.           

Lubna Mousa, a Syrian refugee, told Swedish Radio and SVT that a woman claiming to work at the embassy offered to prioritize her and her children’s residency applications for a fee of SEK 100,000.

Sweden’ ambassador in Amman, Erik Ullenhag, said that he takes the reports seriously and intends to launch an investigation into the black market for residence applications.

This is very serious for the simple reason that you should not be able to buy your way into the queue first off,” said Ullenhag.

“Secondly, for the possibility that there are people in the state that are trying to cash in on people in vulnerable positions. We have zero tolerance for corruption and irregularities.”

At this time, the Swedish embassy cannot confirm if the woman from the recordings is in fact an embassy official.

After hearing of the Swedish Radio and SVT News report, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to authorities handling immigration cases.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that this has happened in more places,” said Sofia Karlberg, a press officer at the Foreign Ministry. “For that reason, we have to act and ask all of our embassies that work on migration issues to be aware of this risk since there is now evidence that someone claiming to work for the Migration Agency or an embassy is charging money for interview slots.”

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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