Geirmundur Vilhjálmsson, former chief of the prison Kvíabryggja, is currently under investigation on suspicion of more than 40 cases of embezzlement of funds and other valuables belonging to the prison. The investigation is in its final stages.
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In the course of the investigation, the police searched Vilhjálmsson’s home and his father’s summerhouse. A number of objects that are believed to be in the prison’s ownership were confiscated, including tools and spare parts for cars and tires, Fréttabladid reports.
Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson made Vilhjálmsson step down temporarily because of the investigation, a move to which he objected. However, a committee of the Ministry of Finance on the rights and obligation of state employees concluded it was justifiable.
Before the investigation was launched, the Prison Authority had made written remarks to Vilhjálmsson on extensive purchases for the prison from the N1 gas stations, which increased from ISK 1.4 million in 2009 to 3.5 million in the first ten months of 2010.
The National Audit Office also commented on purchases for the prison for ISK 1.7 million (USD 15,000, EUR 10,000) over a period of ten months in 2010 where the items purchased couldn’t be found inside the prison’s walls, were not related to its operations and weren’t registered in its books.
According to data submitted as evidence, there were frequent purchases for the prison from the grocery store Samkaup in Grundarfjördur, west Iceland, 50-60 small purchases each month, in spite of orders that purchases for prisons should be made directly from suppliers or budget stores.
A large part of the purchases were luxury food products which aren’t served in the state’s prisons, such as chicken fillets, rainbow trout, sweets and sodas.
Most of these purchases were made by Vilhjálmsson and his wife. In some cases prisoners confirmed receiving the products and in all cases the invoices were approved by the prison chief.