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COUNTERFEIT

Prison for Stockholm counterfeiting ring

A Swedish court on Friday sentenced six men to prison for their involvement in a major counterfeiting ring specializing in fake euro and dollar notes.

Prison for Stockholm counterfeiting ring

The men were given sentences ranging up to 18 months by the Solna District Court near Stockholm.

A total of 13 suspects – 12 men and one woman – were included in the original indictment, which covered a range of crimes including unauthorized possession of false currency, handling stolen goods, as well as serious drugs and weapons crimes.

But the prosecution lacked evidence to convict four of the suspects, with the remaining three receiving conditional sentences or probation.

The suspects were charged with having various roles in a currency counterfeiting operation which ran from December 2008 until late March 2009 and featured fake dollars, euros, and Swedish kronor.

The suspected ring leaders were charged for having handled fake bills worth 2.5 million kronor ($354,000), but weren’t convicted on that particular charge.

However, they were convicted for possessing 570,000 kronor worth of fake bills printed in Lebanon.

Several of the suspects confessed to having taken the phony money, but explained that they assumed the bills were real.

The ring was exposed earlier in the year following a comprehensive police surveillance operation.

Some of the most incriminating evidence came from recorded telephone conversations, which included a number of lively and descriptive exchanges.

Police had recorded 40,000 telephone calls between the suspects, who remarkably enough spoke openly about the operation over the telephone, disclosing details about deliveries and prices.

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FOOTBALL

Nordic nations to make joint bid for future Euros

Sweden, Denmark and Norway are clubbing together with Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands in a joint push to host the European Championship in 2024 and 2028.

Nordic nations to make joint bid for future Euros
Norway's Marcus Pedersen, Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner, who've all played in previous big tournaments. Photos: TT/Scanpix/Vegard Wivestad Grøtt; TT/Denis Tyrin;TT/Michael
The Nordic countries announced their plans for a combined bid in a media statement released after the region's football associations met for talks over the weekend.
 
Jesper Møller, head of the Danish Football Association (DBU) said that efforts would focus on “sustainability, volunteerism and well-being”, while promoting an environmentally friendly and transparent approach.
 
“The Euros is one of the biggest events in the world of football, and it is great for all of us who love football,” he said.
 
Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic representatives alongside officials from Finland and the Faroe Islands are set to brainstorm the deal's details at a meeting in Greenland scheduled to take place in August.
 
France is currently counting down the days until it hosts the next European Championship, Euro 2016, with the group stages kicking off on June 10th. Sweden and Iceland are the only Nordic countries to have qualified for the tournament.
 
The competition, which takes place every four years, is usually led by just one or two host nations. However Euro 2020 will be staged in 13 different countries, including Denmark, in a nod to the 60th anniversary of European football contests.
 
Uefa says the move is also designed to “give some countries and cities the potential opportunity to be part of a tournament they may otherwise not be able to host”.