• Sweden's news in English

Swedish police 'knew of helicopter heist plans'

TT/Charlotte Webb · 28 Sep 2009, 12:46

Published: 28 Sep 2009 12:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Serbian police told the Aftonbladet newspaper they aware of plans to rob the Västberga cash depot and alerted Swedish police that a coup was imminent.

"We gave them everything that was needed to stop the robbery," Serbian Chief of Police, Milorad Veljovic, told the newspaper.

"We really did everything in our power short of going to Sweden and stopping the robbery ourselves."

A police source confirmed for TT that Swedish police had received a tip regarding the planned robbery from the Serbian police, but rejected the assumption that they had neglected the information.

According to the information provided, the robbery was due to take place a week earlier. At that time Swedish police were closely monitoring the robbers in an operation referred to as KKP 4.

The operation entailed monitoring a number of different cash depots and temporarily moving police helicopters from the police heliport at Myttinge on Värmdo to another location.

"But because nothing happened, the operation was called off. Then it happened anyway, only later on," the source said.

Police helicopters at the Myttinge heliport were subsequently unable to respond when the robbery took place on Wednesday morning of last week because of fake bomb had been placed near the hangar.

On Sunday, Swedish police took a total of six people into custody for their suspected involvement the robbery.

The suspects include a 34-year-old from Norrtälje, a 38-year-old from Stockholm, a 36-year-old man from Enskede in southern Stockholm, a 31-year-old man from Hägersten and a 29-year-old man from Norsborg, south of Stockholm.

All are suspected of aggravated robbery for their role in the Hollywood-style robbery at the G4S cash depot in Västberga south of Stockholm early Wednesday morning.

A 21-year-old man from Bagarmossen has also been taken into custody on suspicions of being an accessory to grand robbery, according to documents submitted to the Södertorn District Court.

The 34-year-old suspect is a former student of Roslagen Helikopterflyg, a Swedish helicopter training academy in Norrtälje, north of Stockholm.

“He completed his education here around fifteen years ago, but he has never worked for us,” said head instructor Christer Öhlund to the TT news agency.

According to Öhlund, the 34-year-old only attained a private flying certificate. He does not have certification to fly as a professional pilot.

The man has had regular contact with the training academy, routinely hiring a helicopter for private flights. The last time he did so was in summer of this year.

According to flight instructor, the school was planning to hire the suspect as a photographer for the company, but the plans were never carried out.

Öhlund was shocked to discover that the man was being held on suspicions of involvement in the robbery.

“I don't think he's guilty. I can't imagine that he could have done this. He's just too nice and personable to have carried out such a thing,” he said.

Story continues below…

Attorney Leif Silbersky is defending the 34-year-old and hinted at how his client was feeling following his arrest.

“A person never feels good when they are arrested and consider themselves to be completely innocent,” he said.

Interrogations have been held for the suspects, according to the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen).

The Swedish police remain tight-lipped regarding any additional information, and refuse to reveal whether the suspect knew one another before the robbery was carried out.

District prosecutor Leif Görts is due to announce on Wednesday at noon whether he plans to request that the suspects be remanded in custody.

TT/Charlotte Webb (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:56 September 28, 2009 by usgepo
Funny how the police has been trying to save face by stating that this has been a very sophisticated military trained gang carrying extremely powerful weaponry.

They also stated that the pilot had extreme training in order to be able to land and take off the way they did!

How embarrassing!
15:44 September 28, 2009 by cattie
Knowing Stockholm, when heard this story I laughed out loud. Typical Swedes parking police helicopters in an unsecure location. They were afraid of the dummy boxes marked with the word bomb. I wonder how long it was before anyone attempted to respond. The cash depot did not even have a live security guard, just cameras! The main problem is the "it won't happen here" attitude. Several rather simple steps would have made this crime much harder to commit.

I witnessed more crimes in Stockholm than when I lived in the ghetto in California. When I called the police in Stockholm, they either never responded or took several hours to respond. My Bro-in-law was held at knifepoint in Tyreso for 40 mins before police showed up, it was 19:30. In the USA that helicopter would have been shot down.

Funniest part is on the remote chance they catch the theives, the longest they'll go to prison is for four years. And the response of most Swedes to the story was Va KUL!
17:21 September 28, 2009 by dimebag
Stupid Swedish people !!!
17:56 September 28, 2009 by this_aint_sparta
@ dimebag, usgepo ,cattie

All of you should be ashamed of yourself, You started blaming swedish police without knowing or noticing their problems.

The night before the robbery, All of the swedish police, their security agencies, their under cover cops, their agents, swedish CIA, MOSAD, ISI, RAW, KGB, they had a more tougher job, They were keeping the sweish society, swedish soil safe by driving the DRUNKS from vasagatan to their homes. Do you have any idea how tough and dangrous can that be. All those drunks CAN spit on the officers on patrol when frustrated.

Now you know, go hang yourself.
18:37 September 28, 2009 by Nemesis
If this allegation is true, the Swedish police should be arrested and imprisoned.

This is beyond a joke.
18:52 September 28, 2009 by fazoolmein
hahaha. This is hilarious.

"But because nothing happened, the operation was called off. Then it happened anyway, only later on," the source said.

What does the police want? To be told the exact time and place? Well, then a couple of &"#¤% can also stop the robbery if they are given this information.

And I agree with all of the above comments about the Swedish police and the possible punishment of max. four years.
19:21 September 28, 2009 by linjiechou
swedish perhaps have too much trust in others. But they don't realise that the demographic orientation is changing
19:33 September 28, 2009 by Luke35711
When Olof Palme, the Prime Minister of Sweden was killed in central Stockholm while walking home without any security, Stockholm Police failed to find bullets which were just lying there in the street. The bullets were picked up next day by passers-by and brought in! The Prime Minister was assassinated and the Police failed to gather basic evidence and secure the area of the crime! How is that for incompetence!?
19:43 September 28, 2009 by izbz
Cattie....how naive are u? of course USA will try to shoot down anything...That is why they got their arse blown off....In Vietnam, Korea, Middle East, Afganistan....THE BIG HEADED SO CALL SUPER POWER!!!!!!! Can't even help their own people but want ti get involve with other people problem....Why don't you migrate to US of A
20:22 September 28, 2009 by dusan
@Per Johansson52

that's because you're a bigot.
20:45 September 28, 2009 by jokara
Ex red berret in serbia killed our prime minister dr.Zoran Djindjic, they are very dangerous and they were Slobodan Milosevics deadly force. This is example what happen when poeple from crime got special force training. Most of them are in Serbian jails (for crime, murders, roberry, hijacking,...) , but some of them are free... It is sad fact that your police force not seriously take information from serbian police... Our police doing best to deal with organized crime.
21:37 September 28, 2009 by DreEstwd
Hey, Izbz- The USA is doing just fine compared with whatever sh1thole country you are from.
22:08 September 28, 2009 by shockwave
Stupid Swedes !!! Always finding scapegoats of their own faults/inefficiency...
01:57 September 29, 2009 by unknownguest
Alexander Eriksson, 34

Goran Bojovic, 38

Metin Akolag, 36

Goran Zivkovic, 29

Reza Madadi, 31

Peter Karlsson, 21
08:49 September 29, 2009 by RichyRich27
Hindsight is a wonderful thing!! Ofcourse it's easy to look back and say that they should have done this or shouldn't have done that!! What would everyone have said if the police had used their resources staking out cash depots for 6 months and nothing had of happened!!

At the end of the day if this was a highly trained ex military group of people then the police had no chance of stopping this!! What are the chances that there was somebody on the inside giving th gang information on the polices movements?? We just don't know. This wasn't just a group of people who one night decided to jump in a helicopter and go and rob a cash depot!! They new what they were doing, had a plan and executed it with high precision!

Crimes like this happen all over the world the best the police can do is try to catch the guys afterwards which it looks like they are doing.

The money will be insured and so the only people that will really be losing out here are the insurance company who if you ask me are the real robbers in this society.

I'm not usually one to defend Swedes but I think that some of the comments above are a little bit unfair!
08:52 September 29, 2009 by spy

You are rather thick and unpleasant but please don't hang yourself.
20:21 September 30, 2009 by cattie

So your belief is that organized crime is unstoppable. Police simply serve as crime scene investigators in Sweden, they have no power to protect people or property? This attitude actually would explain many of scenes I have witnessed in Stockholm.

Therefore, "Highly trained ex-military group"

could in short order with the use of intelligent and organized terrorist tactics take absolute power over Sweden since a law enforcement has no choices other than sit back and respond, after the fact? WOW!

You can bet if this crime were being planned for execution in Serbia, actions would have be taken to prevent the crime. That is why law enforcement in Serbia is so incredulous.

Lastly, you think the insurance company is hurt by it? The insurance company will simply pass their loss on to their customers in the form of higher premiums.
Today's headlines
The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available