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'Substitute Criminal' Concept Spreads to Sweden

You may recall this post last month about "substitute criminals," or people who agree to do prison time for someone else for a fee. In China, for example, substitute criminals can be hired to go to jail for you in for the bargain-basement rate of $31 per day. According to Slate, the practice is now so common in China that there is even a term for it: ding zui, or "substitute criminal."

It now appears that the substitute criminal concept has reached countries beyond China, as well. Sweden's The Local reports that an international arrest warrant is now out for a 37-year-old Gothenburg man who avoided serving jail time by paying a friend to serve his prison sentence while he headed off to Asia and later to the Philippines. The man was sentenced to one year in prison in 2008 after being found guilty on charges including copyright infringement and handling smuggled goods.

However, he was not immediately remanded to prison, and devised a plan that involved acquiring a driver’s license under his name but with a photo of the friend who agreed to serve his time. The Local reports that the substitute criminal scheme was not discovered until May 2012, when a police officer who was at the prison to speak with the Gothenburg man realized he was facing the wrong person. If the entire sentence had been served, the true criminal could have walked free, according to The Local

Also of note, the substitute criminal was released from jail following the discovery, and there is no indication that he is being charged for any new crime for his part in the deception.

Posted by Bruce Carton on September 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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