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CRIME

Security guard held after weapon stolen from Swedish government offices

A security guard is being questioned on suspicion of stealing a service weapon from the Swedish government offices, just weeks after half a dozen other firearms went missing from the building.

Security guard held after weapon stolen from Swedish government offices
File photo of Swedish government buildings. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The security guard was to be questioned on Monday, prosecutor Lucas Eriksson told AFP.

At the end of October, six other firearms and ammunition were reported stolen from the government offices, which are protected by guards from the private security firm Securitas.

According to Swedish media, the weapons were six Glock pistols and 300 special bullets kept in a safe and to be used in case of a heightened security threat, such as a terrorist attack.

Investigators are trying to determine if there is a link between the two thefts.

Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist deemed the thefts unacceptable.

“We need to have good control over the handling of weapons in our country,” he told Swedish news agency TT.

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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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