Man arrested as police storm kidnap apartment

The apartment where the kidnapped Siba chief executive, Fabian Bengtsson, was held for 17 days was found by police on Thursday. Inside they found a 40 year old man who is said to have admitted to being involved in the kidnapping.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” he told police as they arrested him.

According to Expressen the man is from “a Balkan country” and was already known to the police, although “not for any serious crimes”. He was immediately taken into custody and forensic experts began investigating the apartment on Gudmundsgatan in central Gothenburg.

“Considering the confidentiality around the investigation, I am unable to give out more information just now,” said the prosecutor on the case, Peter Larsson.

However, Aftonbladet revealed that in the raid on the apartment on Thursday afternoon, police found “strong evidence”, including a specially built box which Fabian Bengtsson was forced to sit in during his captivity.

The police are also working on information provided by the Siba chief executive himself. He told them that one evening the kidnappers offered him some of their Jim Beam whisky.

It seems that only a few bottles of that brand were bought in Gothenburg during the time of the kidnap – one of which was from a Systembolaget 100 metres from the apartment where Bengtsson was held. Police hope that one of the kidnappers will have been caught on the store’s CCTV.

The area itself is said to be “a rather calm area”, but in the 17 days for which Bengtsson was held, the neighbours apparently heard nothing.

During his interviews with the police, Fabian Bengtsson said that he had no idea where he was being kept and that his head was covered with a pillow case whenever he was allowed to move around. He saw almost nothing of his kidnappers.

However, he was able to describe to police the doorstep and floor of the apartment and he apparently counted the stairs up to it. Bengtsson also told police that the car journey from the apartment to Slottsskogen, the park where he was released, took about ten minutes.

Earlier in the week, Austrian police arrested a 27 year old Swede in Vienna. Under interrogation he admitted that he tried to get money out of the Bengtsson family – but he claimed that it was “a joke” and “didn’t mean it seriously”. He denies being involved in the kidnapping.

While the Austrian authorities seem to believe that he was not directly involved, they are treating him as a fraudster who attempted to trick the Bengtsson family into paying him money.

He is alleged to have made a number of calls to Fabian Bengtsson’s parents, the last of which was made when he had already been released – although the news had not been made public. The man was demanding the 500,000 Euros that had appeared in the media, but the real cash demand is thought to have been different.

Nevertheless, police in both Austria and Sweden are treating his arrest seriously.

“We don’t believe that the whole thing was a joke,” said Michaela Schnell, the prosecutor in Vienna. Meanwhile, the prosecutor in Gothenburg has issued an international arrest warrant for the man.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet, Expressen