Between 2006 and 2014, the Swedish Armed Forces purchased service dogs in Europe for SEK 12 million kroner ($1.5 million) for its breeding program. However, no public announcement of the procurement was held, which many believed constitutes a violation of the army's own regulations.
"In my opinion, it is illegal," Andrea Sundstrand, an associate professor of Stockholm University specializing in public procurement told Swedish Radio.Swedish Radio.
Most of the dogs originally came from Germany, but were almost always bought via intermediaries, such as a reseller in Denmark who had personal acquaintance with employees at the Dog Service Program responsible for the breeding program. The Danish reseller reportedly earned large sums of money by buying dogs cheaply and then reselling them to the Swedish Defense at inflated prices. In one instance, a dog the armed forces bought from him for around SEK 250,000 ($30,000) had been sold only one month earlier for only SEK 19,000 ($2,200)
"This person should have never been involved in the matter at all," political scientist Jan Turvall, one of Sweden's leading public administration experts, said, calling this "foul play."
The Swedish Armed Forces, however, discovered no irregularities in its recent review of the situation, which concluded that there was virtually no reason to take further action on this issue.
Previously, Swedish army officials claimed to have followed market economy principles.
"By offering prices that are perceived as attractive, we gained access to the dogs we wanted," Erik Wilson, former chief breeder of the Swedish Armed Forces, said, citing the dogs' advantageous bloodlines.
"I don't know what kind of bloodlines this is about, but even if they were the world's best, the price is still incredible," Lars Neij said.
Despite the measures taken, however, many of the dogs in the military breeding program were discovered to have scratching issues and hip problems, while a substantial portion were even unable to have puppies, Swedish Radio reported.