V&S Group has seen nine present and former employees charged with bribery in the latest episode in the Systembolaget bribery scandal, according to reports in Sweden.

The charges reportedly involve bribes worth SEK640,000 (US$89,000) that were allegedly fraudently hidden in company accounts, the state prosecutor said.

The charges are the latest to be brought in the scandal surrounding Sweden's state-run alcohol monopoly.

In February, a group of former Systembolaget store managers were handed fines. Late last year, 18 store managers and two employees at wine distributor Vin-Tradgardh were fined between SEK1,500 and SEK51,000 in the first round of trials concerning the bribes.

Systembolaget employees are forbidden to promote one brand over another in exchange for perks.

Company officials could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press. However, when contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for V&S said: "We think that it is very good that the legal process has begun and we can find out where the limits are on sampling.

"This has been going on for three years, and it is quite heavy for the people involved," the spokesperson added.