• Sweden edition
 
Customs 'not focused' on weapons smuggling

Customs 'not focused' on weapons smuggling

Published: 05 Jan 2012 12:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Jan 2012 12:40 GMT+01:00

"We have been mainly focusing on drugs," said Anders Trägårdh, head of operations at customs in Malmö, to daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The debate about the illegal smuggling of weapons has been given a new lease of life after a recent rise in violent crimes in the Malmö region.

But in the government directive given to the Swedish customs agency they are told to focus on drugs, alcohol and cigarettes in order to combat organized crime in the country, according to news agency TT.

Illegal weapons smuggling isn't mentioned in the directive, reported daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Today customs at the Öresund bridge have around 40 sniffer dogs trained to find drugs, but none especially trained to find weapons, unlike the county police with several dogs that can track both weapons and ammunition at their disposal.

And that weapons are brought in over the Öresund bridge is not news to the local police.

“Skåne is a prime spot for smuggling illegal weapons, so we are under extra pressure. We have asked for tighter regulations on smuggling for a long time,” said Lars Förstell, of the Skåne police to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

At least 200 weapons are being confiscated by the police in Malmö annually - but there has been no direct focus on stopping them from coming in to the country in the first place.

According to the Swedish National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) weapons are primarily being brought into the country from the Balkans in small consignments by land in buses or cars.

Trädgårdh doesn't want to call the fact that the customs only seized seven illegal weapons last year a failure.

"Considering the way the situation looks right now we wish we would have discovered more. But I don't want to use terms like 'failure'. We make a large number of controls and we are very successful when it comes to drugs and alcohol," said Trädgårdh to DN.

The customs will now select likely candidates among the drug sniffing dogs to be trained to sniff out weapons and ammunition.

However, according to experts there has to be more efficient cooperation between customs and police on both a domestic and an international level.

"Swedish authorities won't be able to combat the weapons smuggling on their own, but an extensive international cooperation must be in place," said Gunnar Wärnberg, illegal weapons expert at the National Police Board to DN.

Sven-Erik Alhem, the chairman of the Swedish National Association for Crime Victim Support (Brottsofferjourernas riksförbund) is critical that customs aren't making more weapons discoveries.

"Swedish customs have a key role in this. It is high time for them to change their focus. They should not abandon the drugs search, but I think they need to give weapons a higher priority," he said to DN.

Jenny Sundelin (jcsundelin@yahoo.co.uk)

Your comments about this article

12:47 January 5, 2012 by KungsholmenGuy
It is not up to Anders Trädgårdh to decide if terms like 'failure' are used to describe his work. The facts speak for themselves.

He should be ashamed of himself and resign, or at the very least put something in place in a way that is far more immediate than to now 'select likely candidates among the drug sniffing dogs to be trained to sniff out weapons and ammunition'.
14:27 January 5, 2012 by anniegother
Tobacco and alcohol are customs (TAX- MONEY) issues. Guns and drugs, which are strictly forbidden in this country are a quality of life issue. Having come from the bloodiest, drug infested society in the world (in my opinion), to the relative utopia of Sweden, I beg the Swedish government to wake up and take action NOW! Get some priorities NOW!To those who miss the Swedish days of old, watch out, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Malmö is starting to sound like Oakland, CA for gosh sakes.Customs, please get a new pair of glasses!
14:29 January 5, 2012 by engagebrain
Assuming all smuglling is over the bridge, 200 per annum are seized in Malmo, 7 on the bridge and there is little change from year to year, and all weapons end up in Malmo (unlikely) then 7 out of 207 or 3% are spotted by customs. With more a more realistic assumption, that smuggled weapons spread to the whole of Sweden, customs are finding almost none.
15:41 January 5, 2012 by matona1
puting severe penalties on any holder of weapons is far more important now,people getting killed like a chicken,i was not confortable when none of sweden citIies was not among of most peacefull cities in world,but now i know the reason,very simple NO CAPITAL PURNISHMENTS FOR ANY CRIME
15:45 January 5, 2012 by skogsbo
By the nature of sweden's land and coastline it will always be a little porous, but at the moment its a free for all. I've never seen dogs or searching at the bridge, im sat in CPH now, i bet no dogs get run through the train carriages either.

There was major moaning recently when the danes started checks on german border. The open access / schengen stuff is great for speedy travel but useless for border control.

The EU border is only as stronger as its weakest point of entry, which is pretty week, with countries like albania on eu borders access to anything is easy and only 1 border control away from the freedom of europe!
16:52 January 5, 2012 by zooeden
OK Smugglers, time is running fast, best way so far i through the trains, hurry hurry hurry while its free... And since the dogs are still to be trained that gives you an important advantage!!!

Total FAILURE from Trädgårdh!!! However so far it´s been the bad guys who kill eachother so...
17:44 January 5, 2012 by Borilla
A tunnel is being constructed to Denmark to make it easier to smuggle in guns. What exactly is going on? They move the guns aside so they can seize the cigarettes and booze?
23:38 January 5, 2012 by skogsbo
If the management had any sense, they would mention untrained dogs, just walk any dog around cars, trains, trucks.... Deterents are visual. No one would have known until now.
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,007
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN