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German court convicts high-speed Swede

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15:18 CEST+02:00
The 52-year-old head of one of Sweden most infamous gangs was sentenced in Germany on Tuesday to three years and three months in prison.

Mats Rimdahl, who previously headed the Maskeradligan ('The Fancy Dress Gang'), was found guilty by a court in Lübeck for reckless driving, being an accomplice to auto theft, and for counterfeiting official documents in connection with a wild car chase through the city last autumn, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

The incident took place in October, after Rimdahl took possession of a Porsche Cayenne stolen from Stockholm.

He then outfitted the vehicle with false number plates and drove to Lübeck to sell the vehicle.

Acting on a tip from authorities in Sweden, German police set up a check point in an attempt to intercept Rimdahl in Germany.

But the Swedish gang leader instead sped away, leading police on an extended car chase through city streets involving 24 police cars and reaching speeds of 140 kilometres per hour.

According to Swedish police, Lindahl is active in an international criminal gang which specializes in stealing expensive sport utility vehicles.

The former naval officer became one of Sweden's most feared criminals in the 1980s as head of the Maskeradligan, which earned its moniker for a series of high-profile heists carried out by disguise-wearing robbers.

He was released from prison in Sweden in 2006 after serving a lengthy sentence for kidnapping, car theft, and armed robbery.

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