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HELICOPTER HEIST

ROBBERY

‘I wasn’t the pilot – I was high on drugs’

A TV producer has denied being the pilot of a helicopter used in a spectacular robbery at a Stockholm cash depot - telling the court he was high on drugs on the night in question.

'I wasn't the pilot - I was high on drugs'

The man, 35, told Stockholm District Court that he was working overtime on the night of the robbery at the G4S cash depot in Västberga last September. He said that on that night he had been taking illegal drugs and was stressed about an important meeting the following day.

He told the court that he had suffered from drug problems for four or five years and on the night in question had met a number of people to buy drugs. He said that until that night, he had been off drugs for some time.

“What happened is something of which I am incredibly ashamed. I had a relapse,” he said.

The man procured the drugs by using a pay-as-you-go mobile that had been lying in his car for some time, and which contained numbers to old contacts.

“I am ashamed that I still had it, but I did. I used it to sent a number of text messages, and eventually I got hold of a person and narcotics,” he said.

The man said he only had a vague recollection of the night’s events, but he described the angst-ridden hours during which he claims he was wrestling with the decision to buy drugs.

Later during the evening the man said his car was involved in a crash with another vehicle. After this, he continued to the Kungsholmen district to buy more drugs. The man said several times that he was in bad shape during the night and was uncertain about what happened.

At one point in the cross examination, the man grew noticeably irritated at prosecutor Björn Frithiof’s line of questioning:

“I remember fragments of what happened, but the memories are partially blurred. It really depends on how significant the events were,” the man said.

The man was asked why his DNA was found on a GPS unit and on cable ties found in the helicopter.

“I have been active at the Roslagen [helicopter base] for fifteen years. I have used the helicopter in question during filming over many, many years,” the man said. He added that he believed the cable ties found in the helicopter belonged to him, saying that they had been found with one of his cables.

“The fact that the cable ties have my DNA on them is due to the fact that they used my cable ties. This could very easily have contaminated the GPS unit,” he said.

Frithiof asked the TV producer whether he considered himself capable of carrying out a helicopter landing of the sort executed in the robbery:

“I can’t really grasp how you would dare do something like that. If a rotor blade hits a wall, you die. Also, this is taking place in the dark, using lamps, which is something I have never done,” he said.

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IKEA

Ikea to test cash-free store in Sweden

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is going to use its Gävle location to test out whether it can go completely cash-free nationwide.

Ikea to test cash-free store in Sweden
Ikea will go cash-free throughout Sweden if the test is a success. Photo: TT
Ikea said that customers in Gävle, an eastern city best known for its giant straw Christmas goat, were strongly in favour of abandoning cash. 
 
“In our surveys, the vast majority of customers have said that cash payments are no longer important. Today we use a fair amount of resources on handling cash but we’d prefer to use them on something else,” Patric Burstein, the head of customer relations at the Gävle store, told Dagens Nyheter. 
 
Ikea said that its cashless test would begin in Gävle on October 1st. If all goes well, the company plans to eliminate cash payments in all of its Swedish locations. 
 
Department store Åhléns is also testing the idea of going cashless, with three of its locations currently not accepting cash payments. 
 
Swedes use their debit cards three times as frequently as most Europeans and with the popularity of smartphone payment apps like Swish, it has been predicted that Sweden will be completely cash-free by 2030.  
 
The move to ditch cash also has its naysayers, however, with some Swedes worried about the effects on rural areas, pensioners – and personal integrity.
 
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