Sweden bought gold from Nazi Germany during World War II even though it suspected it was looted from Jews or occupied countries, an investigator of the Swedish central bank's archives said on Thursday.

Sweden, neutral during the war, also instructed its central bank to sell the gold it acquired from Nazi Germany as fast as possible because it feared allied countries might refuse to have anything to do with it, the investigator told Reuters.A report published on Wednesday about the archives of the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, also revealed Sweden bought gold from Germany as late as 1944, long after the Allied countries warned neutral countries in 1943 not to buy gold from Germany.

Sweden bought the gold as the Normandy landings were being launched.

"We have found notes in the archive to the effect that the gold they were buying from Germany was stolen . . . this was discussed in 1939," said Harry Flam, an economics professor who was part of the investigation team.

Notes dated as early as 1939 were found in the Riksbank archives that indicate the central bank had suspicions about the origins of the gold it was buying from Germany.

"This led the Riksbank to at least discuss the storing of the gold separately and getting rid of it as quickly as possible by selling it for domestic use," Flam said.

The report concluded that Sweden acquired 59.7 tons of gold from Nazi Germany.