Swedish prosecutors have accused the former principal of a Muslim school of embezzling millions of Swedish kronor from state coffers and funneling the money to Somalia, his place of birth, where it was used to fund an Islamist political party, among other things.
The Swedish Environmental Crime Agency has accused Abdirizak Waberi, a former MP for the nominally conservative Moderate Party and former principal of the Muslim Römosse School in Gothenburg, of stealing 13 million Swedish Kroner (€1.3 million) and sending the cash to Somalia, Götenborgs-Posten reports.
Prosecutor Henric Fagher, who has charged Waberi with aggravated embezzlement and aggravated bookkeeping, says the former principal stole 13 million Swedish Kroner in municipal grants intended for school activities and channeled the cash to his own companies.
Waberi conducted the scheme by sending phony invoices between the school and two of his companies before transferring the funds to Somalia, where the cash was then rerouted to various organizations, including the Islamist National Unity Party, a party headed by Waberi himself, which maintains ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the party outwardly claims to reject violence, it would like to change Somalia’s secular constitution to one based on Islamic law.
“Some of the payments for the false invoices have gone to the school leader himself, his travels and more, and some have gone to mainly two organizations in Somalia,” Henric Fagher, the preliminary investigation leader and chief prosecutor at the Economic Crimes Authority in Gothenburg, wrote in a press release.
“Thirteen million kronor in municipal grants intended for school activities has disappeared into other things,” prosecutor Henric Fagher told state broadcaster SVT.
“Some of it went to his hotel and travel expenses abroad, a large part goes to two Somali organizations. One is said to be a relief organization, the other a political party,” Fagher added.
Waberi, the founder and longtime principal of the Muslim Römosse School, now finds himself as the primary suspect in two investigations into serious financial crime. As a result, authorities have confiscated his passport since he is believed to be a flight risk.
The criminal charges leveled against Waberi come several months after he was fired from his position as principal of Römosse School in June, when the members of the school board accused him of embezzling public funds. At the time, Waberi claimed that accusations against him were nothing more “a personal attack” carried out by employees at the school who wanted his position.
This is not the first instance where massive sums of Swedish taxpayer money have gone to Islamist organizations. In August, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that 1.2 billion Swedish Kroner (€121 million) in taxpayer money had been paid to 49 companies and organizations run by radical Islamists over the past five years alone. While some of the organization’s members are radical Salafists who openly lobby for the implementation of sharia law in Sweden, others are said to be returnees who have previously fought the Islamic State and al-Shabaab.