Stockholm: Sweden said on Tuesday it had got a request from Poland for help in probing the theft of the infamous Nazi German "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the former Auschwitz death camp.
"I can confirm that we have this morning received a request for legal assistance in a criminal investigation from the Polish ministry of justice," Martin Valfridsson, a spokesman for Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask told reporters.
"We have also this morning forwarded the request to the prosecution authority," he added, explaining that the Swedish prosecutor general would then "forward this to a prosecutor, who will take the further steps."
Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told media the request had been received.
Swedish news agency TT reported Tuesday that Polish Justice Minister Krzysztof Kwiatowski spoke with his Swedish counterpart Beatrice Ask in late December and told her Warsaw would make a formal request for legal assistance.
Last month, Polish investigators said the mastermind of the theft -- which sent shockwaves around the world -- lived abroad.
But they have consistently refused to confirm reports that the individual is in Sweden and that his or her name is known to Polish investigators.
First Published: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 21:07