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CRIME

Gothenburg blast: Police identify suspect with ‘no link to criminal gangs’

Police have confirmed that they have identified a suspect for the blast in Gothenburg earlier this week, which forced around 200 people to evacuate their homes and seriously injured four.

The area around the Gothenburg building hit by the blast cordoned off by police
The area around the building hit by the blast cordoned off by police. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The detonation occurred shortly before 5am on Tuesday morning, and 16 people were treated in hospital as a result, while residents have not been able to return to their homes.

Police have now issued a warrant for the arrest of a suspect for devastation endangering the public on probable cause (the higher degree of suspicion under Swedish law). The warrant was issued in the suspect’s absence and police have not yet located the person.

“In light of what is known in the investigation, we can say that there is no connection to gang crime,” regional police chief Klas Johansson told a press conference.

He added that the technical investigation had been delayed due to the conditions at the site of the detonation, which made it too difficult for technicians to enter.

Police did not go into any details at the press conference about who the suspect was or what the likely motive behind the act was, but Johansson said: “It is of course very important that we get hold of this person as soon as possible.” Swedish media including SVT Väst cited anonymous sources that said the suspect was a 55-year-old man.

Local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten reports that the Swedish Enforcement Agency had planned to carry out an eviction at the address on Tuesday, which may be linked to the blast.

Police had said on Tuesday that the blast was unlikely to be due to natural causes.

Up until September 15th this year, Swedish police had recorded 60 explosions classified as ‘endangerment of the public’. Many of these blasts are thought to be linked to criminal gang conflicts, but the crime has a relatively low clearance rate meaning the motive and suspects cannot always be identified.

Member comments

  1. So just another regular, ordinary, nameless Swede gathering explosives in his apartment and blowing up buildings before being evicted by police? Makes sense. Total sense. I mean doesn’t everyone in Sweden collect up explosives these days? It’s all the rage, so to speak. Totally normal. Nothing to see here. Move on and ignore the rubble.

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CRIME

Police investigating possible European link to Stockholm acid burglaries

Swedish police are investigating if an outbreak of burglaries in Stockholm, where criminals melted locks using nitric acid, has connections to similar crimes elsewhere in Europe.

Police investigating possible European link to Stockholm acid burglaries

Since May 20th, Stockholm police have registered 49 burglaries using acid to melt locks, police spokesman Ola Österling told AFP.

“Then there is likely a number of unrecorded cases. We are waiting for tenants, mainly in central Stockholm, to return from their holidays,” Österling said.

He added that there were no suspects and prior to these cases there was “not a single one in all of Sweden that we are aware of.”

Several forced locks had been analysed and forensic investigators had been able to confirm that nitric acid, a colourless corrosive liquid, had been used.

In an interview with public broadcaster SVT, Monica Krüger of the country’s border police said that criminals “introduce nitric acid… into the cylindrical lock and this acid causes the metal to corrode, which makes it possible to force the lock.”

Although the method used does not make any noise, the acid gives off a strong odour that spreads throughout the stairwell.

Over the past two years, similar burglaries have been reported in Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Portugal.

“In one of those cases there was a foreign gang that had entered the country, carried out a number of burglaries and then left,” Österling said, adding that Swedish authorities were co-operating with other European police agencies and Europol.

In August 2023, five Georgian citizens were charged in France over a dozen burglaries using acid, also during the summer.

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