Norwegian diocese accused of multi-million dollar fraud

Norwegian police have raided the offices of the Diocese of Oslo after it was accused of defrauding the state of millions of dollars.

The diocese has been accused of vastly exaggerating its membership to increase the support it receives from the state.

This came to an additional 50 million Norwegian Krone, some NZD$8.58 million, over four years.

The Bishop of Oslo, Bernt Ivar Eidsvig, and the diocesan finance officer are suspects in the case.

The diocese allegedly added 65,000 people to its membership by lifting immigrants’ names from the telephone directory without their consent.

This doubled the number of Catholics living in the country.

Bishop Eidsvig said that the diocese had been trying to record the Catholics who came to live in the majority-Lutheran country and never intended to do anything illegal.

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