SWEDISH STATE prosecutor Berndt Berger has found "gross irregularities" in the finances of Sweden's Transwede Airways. Investigations into the airline were started after the present owners raised the alarm over the whereabouts of nearly krona 180 million ($26 million).

Two former presidents, Lars-Olof Svenheim and Thomas Johansson, have been questioned, but have denied any involvement.

It is suspected that around $20 million found its way into accounts or businesses in the Cayman Islands and Panama in the aftermath of a series of aircraft purchases in 1987. The investigation is focusing on the acquisition of a new $26.5 million McDonnell Douglas MD-83 for which Transwede may have paid twice, with monthly payments of $30,000 sent to a Cayman Islands account.

Transwede, now owned by KF, Nordic Capital and Electra Investments, provides scheduled domestic services from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to Jonkoping, Halmstad, Lulea, Sundsvall and Umea with Fokker 100s, together with charter flights to the Mediterranean. It is in the process of changing its MD-80 charter fleet to Boeing 757-200s.

Source: Flight International