‘Depressed’ Hell’s Angels face probe

They might not look like sensitive sorts, but seven out of ten Hell’s Angels in Stockholm are on sick benefits with depression, Stockholm’s police commissioner Carin Götblad told the press on Monday.

Now the doctor who signed most of the men’s sick notes could be struck off the medical register.

Doctor Roman Nowik is at the centre of an enquiry announced on Monday into members of the biker gang, which has about 30 members in Stockholm. It is believed that many of those on benefits were working at the same time.

Police and officials at the Swedish social insurance administration (Försäkringskassan) say they plan to work together more closely to find proof that the bikers were cheating the system.

Nowik told Dagens Nyheter on Wednesday that the Hell’s Angels members he had seen were not faking.

“They are depressed – in many cases suicidal – and have not tricked me. I am an expert on depression,” he told the paper.

But a report in December from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) said that Nowik had often failed to provide medical evidence when signing sick notes.

Meanwhile, officials at the insurance administration have said that announcing the investigation into the Hell’s Angels publicly will make the probe more difficult.

Christoffer Franzén at Försäkringskassan said the public announcement was “unfortunate”.

Dagens Nyheter reported that many police were upset that a previously secret investigation had been put into the public domain.

But Inspector Christer Nilsson said that the police had “made the operative decision that it was not wrong,” to announce that the Hell’s Angels were being investigated.

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