Bribery charges tied to a series of construction projects in the city of Drammen have boosted fears that corruption in local communities is more widespread than believed. The charges in Drammen resulted this week in the third conviction so far.
Th corruption scandal that has rocked Drammen, west of Oslo, continues to grow. Three people have been jailed so far and even more face corruption trials. The latest conviction involved a homebuilder who, according to the court verdict, paid money under the table to the local official handing his applications for building permits.
A corruption investigator told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), however, that Drammen is not unique and he thinks prosecutors are seeing just the tip of the iceberg in bribery cases.
“There’s a lot more corruption in Norwegian municipalities than is actually ever revealed,” Henrik Dagestad, an attorney and investigator for the consulting firm BDO, told NRK. A recent state survey also revealed that fully 50 percent of those questioned believe corruption takes place in Norwegian towns, often in the form of friends doing favours for one another or by permit applicants greasing the palms of those granting them.