Fines have been handed out to 20 people linked with the Systembolaget bribery scandal. Eighteen store managers and two employees of a wine supplier were fined between SEK1,500 and SEK51,000 (US$191.42 and US$6,510) by a Stockholm court yesterday (19 December).

A further 72 people, the majority of which are former employees of the state-run alcohol retailing monopoly, are awaiting trial in the scandal. Systembolaget has been under investigation since 2003 for employees allegedly taking bribes from drinks distributors to improve the profile of their products in stores.

Of the 20 people fined, two are employees of distributor Vin-Traedgardh, which had denied the bribery accusations in August. The two had paid around SEK190,000 in bribes, the court said.

Earlier this year, Systembolaget cancelled all wine supplier contracts, including its agreement with Vin-Traedgardh.