• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugee crisis
Fears rise over human trafficking in Sweden
Swedish police checking cars on the Öresund bridge. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

Fears rise over human trafficking in Sweden

The Local · 23 Dec 2015, 07:33

Published: 23 Dec 2015 07:33 GMT+01:00

A total of 98 cases of suspected human trafficking have been brought to the southern regional police division's attention in 2015 – up by 700 percent on the year before when 14 incidents were reported.

And in the four months since September 1st, 17 people have been found guilty of people smuggling according to court files examined by Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

Most of the cases involve people driving others across the Öresund bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden, the route chosen by most refugees travelling to the Scandinavian country, which has seen more than 150,000 seek asylum this year – the majority in the past few months alone.

“If we rewind to June I don't think anyone would have been able to expect that kind of frequency of human smuggling,” Michael Mattsson, head of the southern border police, told SVT on Wednesday.

Under the EU's Dublin regulation, migrants seeking asylum in Europe are supposed to be registered in the first country they arrive in. But in practice many try to avoid registration and travel onwards to other European countries.

While some are believed to be the victims of organized smugglers taking advantage of vulnerable people and charging copious amounts of money for fake travel documents, others are helped by friends or relatives – who could also be charged with human trafficking, according to police.

READ ALSO: Arrests in Sweden over smuggling ring

Jan Edmundsson, who normally works for the Gothenburg police but has been transferred to the Öresund bridge to assist with border checks, told SVT he opened the back of a van just days ago and found three children hidden under a mattress, accompanied by their father.

The van was driven by a Sweden-based relative of the family, who was arrested for alleged people smuggling.

Story continues below…

“The youngest (child) was maybe six, seven years old. They were in good health. They had been picked up in Germany so they had not been in the car very long anyway,” said Edmundsson.

Sweden is set to introduce mandatory ID checks on all trains, buses and ferries into the country from January 4th, which border police fear could lead to human trafficking being stepped up.

“There's a possibility that they try to be smarter, that they use other methods. We have seen examples in Europe where people were found in trucks, with many dead as a result. That could be one effect,” said Mattsson.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
US keeper kicked off team for calling Swedes cowards
Hope Solo made her comments after Sweden knocked the US team out of the Olympics. Photo: Eugenio Savio/AP

The US team will be Hope-less for six months.

Five must-see cultural events in Sweden this weekend
Like The Bridge? You'll love one of the events we've picked out for this weekend. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The summer is almost over but Sweden saved the best for last with these cultural events this weekend – including one that will make The Bridge fans happy.

Was there a secret plot to kill Swedish ex-UN chief?
Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN's Secretary General, pictured months before his death in 1961. Photo: TT

Ban Ki-moon wants to find out.

Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available