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CRIME

Swedish honeymooner killed in South Africa

A Swedish woman on honeymoon in South Africa with her British millionaire husband has been found dead following a carjacking incident outside of Cape Town.

Swedish honeymooner killed in South Africa

The 28-year-old Swedish woman, named by the Expressen newspaper as Anni Dewani from Mariestad in central Sweden, was traveling with her 31-year-old British husband, Shrien Dewani of Bristol, when two armed men stopped the minivan in which they were traveling, according to several media reports.

“It’s just terrible. She was the most beautiful girl in the world,” Dewani’s father, Vinod Hindocha, told Expressen.

Anni and Shrien Dewani had been married just three weeks ago in India and arrived in South Africa last week to celebrate their marriage.

The newlyweds had been out to dinner on Saturday night and taken a taxi from the restaurant when two men forced the driver out of the minivan and drove off with the couple around 11pm.

Upon being released by the kidnappers, Shrien Dewani called the police, who later found his wife murdered in the taxi.

“We know that a Swedish citizen has been found dead in South Africa and that the police are looking into it,” Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Camilla Åkesson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

According to the foreign ministry, the woman is from central Sweden.

The carjackling and murder has received a great deal of attention in the South African and British media. The Cape Town tourism office said that the murder was the first killing of a tourist since last summer when South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup football tournament.

The two men stopped the taxi as it was traveling in Guguletu, a township about 15 kilometres outside of Cape Town, the tourist office told the Sapa news agency on the News24.com news website.

After being released near the Khayelitsha shantytown, Shrien Dewani received a ride to a nearby police station from a passing motorist.

The police launched a search for Anni Dewani and later found the taxi in Lingelethu West. The murdered woman’s body was in the back seat. The killers disappeared without a trace.

Alan Winde, a tourism official for the Western Cape, theorised that the taxi driver may have gotten lost.

“They were returning to the city at 10pm and they asked the driver to take them to a very well-known hotspot in Guguletu,” Winde told SkyNews.

“It sounds as though they had gone a little off course when the carjacking took place.”

Police spokesperson André Traut refused to comment on how the woman was killed prior to an autopsy, he told Sapa.

But Anni Dewani’s father told Expressen his daughter had been shot.

“She took three bullets to the chest,” he told the newspaper.

“There aren’t words to describe her. She was a dream girl.”

According to Expressen, Anni Dewani grew up in Mariestad and studied engineering at colleges in Gävle in eastern Sweden and Halmstad in western Sweden.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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