SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

High speed Swede in court in Germany

A man described as one of Sweden’s most notorious criminals appeared in a German court on Wednesday after being arrested following a wild car chase involving a stolen Porsche and up to 24 police cars.

High speed Swede in court in Germany

Mats Rimdahl appeared in Lübeck district court charged with receiving stolen goods and counterfeiting official documents as well as a string of motoring offences connected with the chase.

The Lübeck state prosecutor says he had fake police and legal identification with him when he was arrested after the terrifying car chase.

“You could really say the car chase was like something from a film. People were throwing themselves out of the way,” a prosecutor spokesman told The Local. “One woman was with her little girl who was riding a bicycle.”

“The woman was hurt when she flung herself out of the way and her daughter was slightly injured when she fell off her bike. It could have ended in tragedy – they were very lucky,” she added.

The 52-year-old Swede, who the spokesman said had an address in Stockholm, is alleged to have collected the stolen Porsche Cayenne from thieves who had taken it in Stockholm last October. After putting false number plates on it, he headed for Lübeck where, the authorities claim, he wanted to sell it for around €80,000.

“The German police had been told about the stolen car by their Swedish colleagues and set up a checkpoint to stop it,” the spokesman said. “But he fled and drove through town at more than 140 kilometres an hour at times.”

While speeding through town pursued by 24 police cars, he is said to have ignored traffic regulations, running red lights and driving more than half a kilometre on the pavement, forcing pedestrians to run for their lives.

The chase continued, and it was only after nearly an hour, when Rimdahl was heading out of town, that police formed a roadblock with their cars, and rammed his Porsche to bring him to a halt.

When they arrested him, the German police then discovered Rimdahl had already served long prison sentences in Sweden for kidnapping, car theft and armed robbery. He was last released in 2006.

Rimdahl, a former naval officer, is known in Sweden as the leader of Maskeradligan (the fancy dress gang), a criminal organisation notorious in the 1980s for a string of spectacular robberies always carried out while in disguise.

The case continues, with another hearing planned for April 29rd when witnesses will be heard.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
SHOW COMMENTS