Primary anti-bribery legislation and enforcement agencies
Swedish Penal Code
Investigating agency: The Swedish Police Authority
Prosecuting agencies: The National Anti-Corruption Unit of the Swedish Prosecution Authority
Taking and giving a bribe (ch. 10 s. 5 a-c)
An employee or person performing an assignment who, for himself or herself or another person, receives, accepts a promise of, or demands an improper benefit for the performance of the employment or assignment, may be deemed as taking a bribe.
A person who, on the other hand, promises or offers an improper benefit in the cases referred to above may be viewed as giving a bribe.
Other corruption offenses (ch. 10 s. d-e)
In addition to the offenses of taking and giving a bribe, trading in influence and negligent financing of bribery are also punishable offenses related to bribery. Trading in influence involves the act of taking or giving an improper benefit in order to influence a person’s action or decision in the exercise of public authority or in public procurement. An individual acting on behalf of a company that provides money or assets used by a third party for the giving of a bribe may be found guilty of negligent financing of bribery.
There are no explicit defenses to the offenses under the Swedish Penal Code. The adoption of a compliance program is a recommended measure that can mitigate criminal liability by contributing to the view that a company has done what can reasonably be expected to prevent bribery from taking place. Preventive actions taken as a part of a compliance program may also be taken into account in the fixing of the corporate fine.
Corporate liability arises under the Swedish Penal Code if the offense has been committed within course of a company’s business and the company has not done what can be reasonably expected to prevent the bribery or that the bribery has been committed by an individual in a leading position or with special responsibility for supervision.
Extraterritorial application (ch. 2)
Yes, when the crime is committed in Sweden or:
- by a Swedish citizen or an alien domiciled in Sweden;
- by an alien not domiciled in Sweden who after having committed a crime becomes a Swedish citizen or domiciled in Sweden or who is a citizen of the Nordic countries; or
- by any other alien who is present in Sweden and the crime can result in imprisonment for more than six months under Swedish law.
Penalties – Criminal and/or Civil liability
For an individual (ch. 10 s. 5 a-e) – imprisonment for up to 6 years, or a fine of up to SEK150,000.
For bodies corporate (ch. 36 s. 8) – a fine of up to SEK10,000,000.
The proceeds obtained by bribery could also be declared forfeited to the Swedish Government.
This list is to be used as a guide only. It is intended to provide high level information regarding the primary laws in the specified countries in relation to anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. Please refer to the relevant legislation for detailed information and to ensure that the information contained in this guide is up to date, and refer to the relevant Baker & McKenzie contact for the jurisdiction for specific advice.