The mayor of Bergen, Norway, Trude Drevland, and the Bergen harbor master, Inge Tangeraas, have been charged with corruption, the Bergen police confirmed today, according to Norwegian news sources.
The mayor has been charged because she allegedly accepted a paid-for-trip by Viking Cruises to the shipyard in Venice, a hotel stay in Venice and later a two-day cruise from Bergen to Oslo. The mayor was also offered and accepted a Mediterranean cruise, which she later turned down.
In a press conference, the police would not comment on whether shipowner Torstein Hagen (chairman of Viking Cruises) would also be charged.
If the mayor is found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in prison.
The charges allege that Hagen picked up the mayor, her son and the harbor master in his private jet and flew them to Venice as his guests for the launching of the new line’s first ship. In Venice, they allegedly stayed in a luxury hotel at the cruise line’s expense.
The mayor subsequently took a two-day cruise in Norway and accepted a seven-day Mediterranean cruise. The charges also include that the mayor allegedly tried to influence other government agencies on behalf of the cruise line.
The mayor and the harbor master have both rejected the charges.
Viking’s first ship, the Viking Star, was christened in Bergen this past May.