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CRIME

Swedish man accused of sex crimes against 63 young girls

A 22-year-old man has been charged with committing sex crimes against 63 girls throughout Sweden. The vast majority of the incidents were online abuse.

Swedish man accused of sex crimes against 63 young girls
The man primarily used Snapchat to find his victims. Photo: TT
According to prosecutors, the charges include rape, sexual assault, purchasing sexual acts and sexual exploitation. In all cases, the alleged crimes were committed against children, primarily girls between the ages of 12 and 14. Most of the alleged incidents occurred during the autumn of 2017. 
 
The suspect denied all allegations against him at the Borås District Court. He has been found guilty on similar charges four previous times. 
 
Prosecutors allege that the suspect used his Snapchat account to find his victims. In most cases, he pretended to be a younger boy and convinced the girls to send him nude photos or to record themselves performing sexual acts and then send him the videos. On several occasions, the man allegedly blackmailed the girls by telling them that he would distribute the images and videos if they did not do what he wanted.
 
Prosecutor Andrea Andersson said that the impact of the crimes varied amongst the victims. 
 
“Some of the girls have taken this very badly, others not so much. It is very individual how this affects you,” she said. 
 
The 22-year-old was sentenced to probation for his earlier offences and in one case was placed in youth detention. 

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CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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