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by Tim Beissmann


Three former Saab executives, including the company’s past CEO, have been arrested by Swedish officials as part of an accounting fraud investigation.

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority’s chief prosecutor, Olof Sahlgren, confirmed three people were questioned on Monday in relation to “grave attempts to complicate tax controls”.

While Sahlgren declined to name those involved, Bloomberg reports court documents filed in Vaenersborg revealed Saab’s former CEO, Jan-Ake Jonsson, former CFO, Karl-Gustav Lindstroem, and former general counsel, Kristina Geers, were those detained.

The trio has been released following questioning but remain suspects in the investigation, which centres on incidents in the lead up to Saab’s bankruptcy filing in December 2011.

Geers’ lawyer said his client was “very shocked [at] how this is being handled”.

Sahlgren confirmed the trio would be subject to further questioning before a decision was made to keep them in custody or release them.

“It’s about accounting measures to complicate the control operation of the tax authority regarding the calculation of taxes and fees,” he explained.

Sahlgren confirmed people found guilty of accounting fraud in Sweden faced between six months and four years in prison.

Dire financial circumstances forced Saab to cease vehicle production in 2011. The bankrupt Swedish automaker was purchased by Chinese-Japanese consortium National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in June 2012, which plans to launch an electric version of the old Saab 9-3 in early 2014.