Økokrim report: Criminals in Norway are getting help from lawyers and accountants

ØkokrimPhoto: Tore Meek / NTB

Criminals use professional actors with key roles in society to hide their financial crime and launder money, according to a new report from the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway (Økokrim).

Such supporting actors include lawyers, doctors, accountants, and bank employees, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

“The use of such actors, in professions that society trusts, makes it more difficult to detect economic crime. This, in turn, means that the tax base is weakened and that there is a distortion of competition in favor of criminal actors,” Økokrim chief Pål Lønseth warns.

The report shows how trusted professions are involved in tasks such as money laundering, false medical certificates, and financial fraud.

It is considered very likely that some lawyers act as facilitators. Some lawyers have already been suspected and charged with impeding investigations. Among other things, they are said to have contributed to the flow of information between people in prison and criminals on the outside. 

Økokrim’s report also states that some accounting firms have been shown to – in practice – only carry out services for criminals, and that the entire business basis is based on helping criminal actors to avoid being detected. 

Furthermore, some health personnel assist criminals with false medical reports and the issuance of prescription medicine and receive money illegally through various reimbursement schemes.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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