Millionaire shoots himself after police chase

A Norwegian businessman suspected of embezzling 65 million kronor shot himself dead on Monday as Swedish police tried to arrest him.

Ole Christian Bach, 48, was wanted by Interpol in 182 countries and had been on the run since last autumn.

Swedish police had apparently received word that Bach was in the Stockholm area and investigators spotted him outside a grocery store on the island of Ekerö. According to the police’s account, Bach drove off and officers in two unmarked cars gave chase.

After driving a short way, Bach pulled over. When police approached his car they found him dead with a pistol beside him. He had shot himself in the head.

“In stressful situations he always carried a gun,” said Bach’s lawyer, Håkon Schiong.

“He was terrified of hit men,” he told Expressen.

Schiong said he suspected that Bach thought he was being chased by “people from the underworld” rather than police.

But some doubt has been cast on the police’s version of events, after the Norwegian news agency NTB spoke to witnesses who reported seeing a high-speed chase in which the police cars collided with Bach’s car.

This was confirmed by Norwegian police and the dead man’s car, a Saab 9-5 hired from a Statoil petrol station in Stockholm, was said to have been damaged down one side. There was further confusion on Tuesday morning when press conference apparently called by the Swedish police failed to take place.

Bach’s lawyer has called for an investigation into the events surrounding his death, while his fiancée told the Norwegian media that he had just popped out to get lunch and that it was “unthinkable” that he would have killed himself.

According to Expressen, Ole Christian Bach “swindled financiers, porn kings and housewives”. In 1988 he was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a pyramid scam worth hundreds of millions of kronor. A few years later he was found guilty of receiving Edvard Munch’s Madonna, which was stolen from an Oslo gallery.

Norway’s economic crimes unit launched an investigation against Bach, who was one of the country’s richest men, in October 2004. Expressen illustrated the risks he took by describing a recent visit to Oslo.

“He parked his car in the garage directly under [the economic crimes unit] headquarters and then went and had lunch with his lawyer in the district court’s restaurant across the street.”

“He lived an insanely dramatic life and had an equally dramatic death,” said Bach’s lawyer.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Göteborgs Posten


Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.