This is a case-study of one of the most well-known political scandals in Sweden – the Bofors-India affair. The purpose of the study is to describe this affair and to analyze it using established theories of corruption and economic crime. The arms industry is considered one of the most corrupt business sectors in the world. Important reasons for this are the secrecy involved in arms deals, the considerable amounts of money at stake in the contracts and the strong competition between manufacturers. In March 1986, the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors signed a large order with the Indian government for a system of 155 mm field howitzers. The deal was worth approximately 8.4 billion Swedish kronor. In April 1987 journalists at the Swedish National Radio claimed that large amounts of bribes had been paid to Swiss bank accounts in order to secure the deal. The Swedish National Audit Office examined the payments, and concluded that sums exceeding 260 million Swedish kronor had been paid to Swiss bank accounts. Bofors acknowledged the payments, but claimed that these were legitimate provisions and not bribes. It is argued that Sweden has a strong industrial and political tradition in protecting the domestic arms industry and exporting arms abroad. This means competing for contracts in a business sector where corruption is regarded as widespread. At the same time, Sweden has declared strong positions against corruption and a commitment to international peace and mediating in international conflicts, something that can easily clash with the selling of arms. This explains the heated debate that followed the Bofors-India affair.
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Law -- Law and Society (hsv//eng)
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Juridik -- Juridik och samhälle (hsv//swe)