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OFFBEAT

Sweden wants refund for Hells Angel’s backache

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency has ordered a local Hells Angels leader to pay back more than one million kronor in sickness benefits after he committed crimes that would not have been possible if his purported back pains were real.

Sweden wants refund for Hells Angel's backache

Kent Nilsson, a Hells Angels chief in Luleå in northern Sweden, has received a cumulative total of 1.4 million kronor ($200,000) in sick pay since first registering his alleged back trouble in 1998, newspaper Expressen reports.

But now, having examined material contained in police investigations and court convictions, the Insurance Agency has ordered him to reimburse the vast majority of the money. The agency concluded that Nilsson, during the course of his criminal activities, had carried out tasks that “can scarcely be viewed as compatible with the work capacity and medical scenario” outlined in his application for benefits.

Nilsson had, for example, indicated that his back and neck problems precluded him from enduring long car journeys. But court documents showed that he had been convicted of smuggling alcohol after travelling in a car from northern Sweden to Germany. In the same case, it also emerged that he had helped to load up a vehicle with large quantities of beer, wine and spirits.

Nilsson has been given until August 28th to pay back the money, after which time he will be charged additional interest.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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