A Swedish police officer who let a motorist off a fine in exchange for a salad has been convicted of bribery. Learning the hard way that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the officer must now pay SEK 20,800 (EUR 2,347) as a punishment for accepting the SEK 65 (EUR 7) dish.
The unhealthy exchange took place in September last year after the cop stopped a man for not wearing his seatbelt on a road in Gothenburg. The motorist was told that he would be fined SEK 1,500 (EUR 170) for failing to buckling up, and a further SEK 400 (EUR 45) for leaving his licence at the restaurant he owns.
However, after the policeman escorted the 50-year-old back to his restaurant in order to inspect the licence, something on the menu caught his eye.
“The officer said he would forget the fines if he got a salad instead. I normally never give away food for free, but I was happy to avoid paying 1,900 kronor,” the man said during the officer’s trial, according to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.
Feeling unsettled after the deal, however, the restaurant owner told the story to a friend who works for the police. The friend then filed a report against the officer in question.
The policeman told the court he was only joking and that the restaurateur “gave me the salad anyway”, adding that, “I think he wanted to gain some new customers.”
He has been allowed to keep his job despite the conviction as the offence was not ruled to be serious enough to warrant a sacking.