Vinmonopolet's chief executive is to resign. The Norwegian state liquor monopoly has been hit by a bribery scandal and a police complaint over the probing of staff emails this year.

"Based on a wish to restore calm to Vinmonopolet, I will step down as managing director," Knut Groeholt said on Friday (2 December). Groeholt's resignation follows the departure of board chairman Harald Arnkvaern a month ago.

In January, 10 Vinmonopolet store directors were called to answer questions about accusations that they violated rules for relations between staffers and suppliers. The accusations were made by a sacked salesmen at Ekjord AS, one of Vinmonopolet's suppliers.

Meanwhile, in October, Norway's National Data Inspectorate filed a police complaint against Groeholt, accusing him of hiring private detectives who had opened private emails to five company employees without their prior permission.

The resignation is effective from 31 December, although Groeholt will assist the company in an advisory role.

No-one was available for comment at Vinmonopolet when contacted by just-drinks today.

Sales of alcohol in Norway are controlled by 180 Vinmonopolet stores, which are run by the Norwegian ministry of social affairs.