Police have arrested Swedish shipowner and reality TV star Leif-Ivan Karlsson on suspicion of serious financial crimes.

Sverige Radio said the entrepreneur was detained at his Stockholm mansion on Wednesday.

Karlsson was reported to have been in Sweden to sell the historic 3,500-gt cruise ship Birger Jarl (built 1953), which is moored in Lunde.

The 63-year-old was held on “probable grounds of gross misconduct against creditors, grossly aggravating bankruptcy and two cases of gross accounting offences”, the Swedish economic crime authority Ekobrottsmyndigheten said in a statement.

The investigation is focusing on a period between 2019 and 2021 in Stockholm.

There is no known connection between the arrest and the vessel.

“The reason for the arrest and detention is the so-called danger of collusion, that is to say that there is a risk that he may influence or complicate the ongoing criminal investigation,” the statement added.

Karlsson is a self-described “super-entrepreneur” and has shown off his wealth on TV3’s reality show Karlssons.

He made his fortune by providing asylum accommodation for refugees.

SVT reported that his company Rederi Hotell Fartyget was fined SEK 65,000 ($6,100) for an oil spill from the Birger Jarl in 2022.

Fighting the fine

The release of 185 litres of diesel took place a few days after the passenger vessel docked in Lunde.

The tycoon had planned to carry out cruises on the vessel after repairs.

Karlsson claimed the spill was “sabotage” and intended to appeal the decision.

Equasis lists the ship as sold to undisclosed interests in August.

Karlsson was already one of 11 defendants in a case relating to waste company Think Pink, but the new charges are also unrelated to this, the Expressen daily reported.

Swedish media are trying to obtain comment from Karlsson’s lawyer.