The elderly woman was appointed custodian and legal guardian over an unaccompanied refugee child in Nordmaling Municipality, Västerbotten County in 2014-2015. Around the same time she began stealing the boy's government benefits, effectively transferring portions of money to her own account on no fewer than 29 occasions.
In total, the woman reportedly stole over SEK 100,000 ($12,000) the boy had received as benefits and study funds on a monthly basis from social services. The stolen money was later used to feed the woman's gambling habit, Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported.
In 2015, Sweden received a record 35,000 asylum applications from so-called "unaccompanied children," followed by another 2,200 in 2016. The recent figures from the National Board of Forensic Medicine have indicated, however, that over 83 percent of the age-tested unaccompanied refugees proved to be adults. According to Swedish law, no person under the age of 18 may be expelled.
Sweden remains a desired destination for many immigrants for its generous system of taxpayer-funded benefits with a cumulative effect, which allows a newcomer to pick thousands of kronor in assistance without working a single day.