Fewer procecuted for benefit fraud in 2016

Anniken HauglieOslo.Anniken Hauglie ( Conservative Party ).Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Last year, a total of 1,166 people were reported for benefit fraud totalling 233 million Nok. Half of this amount comes from fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.

In 2015  1,472 people were reported for insurance fraud of  302 million Nok. The message from the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs , Anniken Hauglie, said then that more fraudsters would be procecuted, but this has not happened.

– Our welfare system is a safety net for those who end up in a difficult financial situation. It is serious when someone chooses to abuse the system.

Anyone who receives benefits from Nav, has a duty to provide accurate information, said Labor and Welfare Director Sigrun Vågeng.

Six out of ten cases concern people who have worked without informing Nav.

Many of the biggest cases involve labour market crimes. A common feature of these cases is that welfare funds are used to reduce the labour costs, giving the business a competitive advantage.

126 persons were reported for such crimes to a total of NOK 47.8 million. Of these, 20 people were charged with conspiracy. In many cases the employers and employees were cooperating about the fraud.

One of the biggest individual cases last year was a fraud of a total of 1.4 million Nok, where the employer and employee had collaborated to get paid both sickness, unemployment and parental benefits.

Benefit Fraud is punished harshly. A fraud over 90,000 kroner is usually punished with imprisonment. Nav also always require the money to be returned.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today