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THAILAND

Two Swedes caught in Thai child sex sting

Police in Thailand working together with their Swedish counterparts have arrested two Swedes suspected of sex crimes involving children.

The two men are “late, middle-aged” according to the police, and were arrested in their home in the Thai city of Pattaya early Tuesday morning local time.

“There weren’t just there on a tourist trip, but have been more frequent visitors to Thailand,” said Anders Ahlqvist of the Swedish police’s IT-crimes section, to the TT news agency.

The men are now being transported by plane to Bangkok and have yet to be interrogated. Swedish police are also traveling to Thailand to contribute to the investigation. Should the case proceed to trial, however, it would take place in the Thai courts.

The men’s alleged victims are all younger than 15-years-old, although there were no children in the apartment at the time of the police raid, according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

The raid on the two Swedes is a part of a special effort by the Swedish National Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen) to combat sex crimes committed by Swedes against children in other countries.

Four people from the agency’s IT-crimes section have been working specifically on such cases, two as investigators and two with intelligence gathering.

The work is being carried out within the framework of the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

About a week ago, a Swedish man was also arrested in Cambodia on charges of sexually assaulting children.

“It has a great deal to do with cooperation with local police authorities in target countries, we’re assisting them so that they can engage in effective crime fighting,” said Ahlqvist.

In the current case, Swedish police have provided intelligence about the two Swedes and sent officers to Thailand.

“We can’t carry out a search or other invasive measures there, but we can help the Thai police. There’s a great need for it, because it’s not so easy for them to examine confiscated computers which contain material in Swedish,” said Ahlqvist.

“The Thai police have been much more on the offensive and are now arresting people who commit these types of crimes, which they may not have been known for doing earlier.”

Ahlqvist said that the latest arrests can be seen as the start of something new.

“Now we have the resources to do this sort of work and that’s a clear signal that it’s time to drop the notion that you’re going to a safe haven when you travel to Southeast Asia,” he said.

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EASTER

How to make the perfect Swedish chocolate cake for Easter

Worrying about Easter fika this year? Try this most chocolaty chocolate-cake you've ever tasted from Swedish food writer John Duxbury.

How to make the perfect Swedish chocolate cake for Easter
Layered chocolate cake for a great Easter fika. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

This is the perfect cake for Easter, with a really rich deep chocolaty taste and a wonderful luxurious creamy filling and glaze. Of course, you can have fun decorating the top and, if you want, the sides too. As it is very rich, make sure you serve it in small portions!

Summary

Makes 12 portions
Preparation: 35 minutes (5+ hours to cool)
Cooking: 60 minutes

Ingredients

For cake tin:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Chocolate cake:

200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
100 ml (7 tbsp) strong black coffee
200 g (1 ¾ sticks) butter, cut into small cubes
160 g (1 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tbsp baking powder
50 g (1 ¾ oz) cocoa powder
100 g (1 cup) granulated raw cane sugar
175 g (3/4 cup) light muscovado sugar
pinch salt
3 eggs
100 ml (7 tbsp) milk

Chocolate cream filling and glaze:

400 g (14 oz) dark chocolate
480 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
4 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C (350°F, gas 4, fan 160°C). Grease a loose-bottomed 20 cm (8”) round cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.

2. Break the chocolate for the cake up into pieces and put them in a bowl.

3. Heat the coffee to boiling and then pour it on to the chocolate. Add the butter cubes and stir mixture until the chocolate and butter have melted.

4. Evenly mix all the remaining dry ingredients for the cake. (I find this easier to do in a food processor to prevent the cocoa powder going all over the kitchen!)

5. Lightly whisk the eggs together and then whisk in the milk.

6. Fold in the chocolate mixture and then the dry ingredients.

7. When evenly mixed, pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

8. Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

9. Break the chocolate for the filling into a bowl.

10. Heat the cream and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar in a saucepan until it boils and then pour it on to the chocolate and stir until evenly mixed. Leave to cool until spreadable (3-4 hours).

11. Cut the cake into three layers. Spread the chocolate filling between the bottom two layers, over the top layer and round the sides.

12. Decorate with chocolate eggs and/or baby chicks.

Tips

– If 12 portions is too much for your Easter party, remove the decorations and freeze the remainder for another celebration later in the year.

– If possible choose a chocolate with about 60% cocoa solids, but if you can’t find any use 70%.

– Don’t worry if the top of the cake cracks. It is probably because your oven was slightly too hot, but it doesn’t really matter. Cover the tin with a tea cloth, leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, turn out upside down on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

– If the top is too rounded, trim a thin layer off the cracked surface when the cake is cold.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.