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The Swedish Economic Crime Authority presents a status report on economic crime in Sweden

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority monitors and analyses the development of economic crime. Every other year, a status report is presented on the economic crime situation. This year’s report is being released in conjunction with a seminar in Almedalen.

Economic crime is not victimless crime. Nor is it an insignificant and harmless form of crime, even if the opinion surveys the Swedish Economic Crime Authority has commissioned show that many feel that way.

In this year’s status report on economic crime in Sweden, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority demonstrates that the opposite is true. Economic crime is a significantly greater social problem than what the reported crime statistics indicate. There is a large number of unreported cases, and the crimes that are reported are mainly the result of the scope and direction of various monitoring activities.

Economic crime does not have such a direct impact on its victims as, say, burglary or assault. Over the years, many have referred to economic crimes as victimless crimes, but the Swedish Economic Crime Authority would argue that, on the contrary, there are several victims of economic crime. All of society and its citizens are affected when individuals and companies evade taxes and charges, help themselves to money that is not theirs or subject legitimate traders to unfair competition.

Other than the fact that money ends up in criminal hands, it also affects the tax base. There will be less money for the public sector, and serious companies with a good working environment and proper conditions will find it hard to run a profitable business.

The status report focuses especially on gross economic crime. For economic criminals, the company is an important tool of the crime. Through a company, the economic criminal can commit various lucrative economic crimes. The company acts as a legitimate front to conceal the criminal activities and the possibility of laundering proceeds of crime.

A company can be used to commit crimes throughout its life cycle: when started, when conducting activities and when being liquidated. In the status report, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority shows how companies are systematically used to receive benefits, withhold taxes and create unfair competitive advantages against serious businesses.

Published 2016-07-05. Updated 2016-10-17

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