Swedish smuggler’s appeal met by stiff sentence shocker

A 57-year-old Swedish man who recently appealed his conviction for narcotics offences might now wish he had accepted his original sentence.

Swedish smuggler's appeal met by stiff sentence shocker

The district court in Borås in western Sweden originally sentenced the man to three and a half years in prison for serious drug crimes.

However, the court acquitted him of the most serious charge stemming from 18 kilogrammes of amphetamines, which was ordered and delivered by a Polish courier, the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper reported.

The 57-year-old nevertheless appealed the original conviction, but rather than handing down a lighter sentence, the court of appeal slapped an additional seven and a half years onto the man’s sentence.

According to the appeals court, the man was something of a ringleader for the drug smuggling operation, and thus deserved a stiffer penalty.

Having one’s sentence lengthened to such an extent up appeal – in this case, nearly tripling the man’s prison term to 11 years – is extremely rare within the Swedish judicial system, according to GP.

In addition to a tougher sentence for the 57-year-old, the 39-year-old Polish courier also had his sentenced lengthened from eight to ten years in prison.

The sentence of 50-year-old woman involved in the operation remained unchanged at four years in prison, while the acquittal of a 63-year-old woman was also upheld by the appeals court.

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Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

Connected cars are increasingly exposed to security threats. Therefore, a major government initiative is now being launched via the research institute Rise.

Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

More and more technical gadgets are now connected to the internet, and cars are no exception. However, the new reality raises questions about security, and from the Swedish side, an initiative is now being launched to combat cybercrime in the car industry through the government research institute Rise.

“We see a great need (for action), in regards to cyber-attacks in general and solving challenges related to the automotive industry’s drive to make cars more and more connected, and in the long run, perhaps even self-driving,” Rise chief Pia Sandvik stated.

Modern cars now have functions that allow car manufacturers to send out software updates exactly the same way as with mobile phones.

In addition to driving data, a connected car can also collect and pass on technical information about the vehicle.

Nightmare scenario

However, all this has raised questions about risks and the worst nightmare scenario in which someone could be able to take over and remotely operate a connected car.

Sandvik points out that, generally speaking, challenges are not only related to car safety but also to the fact that the vehicle can be a gateway for various actors to get additional information about car owners.

“If you want to gain access to information or cause damage, you can use different systems, and connected vehicles are one such system. Therefore, it is important to be able to test and see if you have robust and resilient systems in place,” she said.

Ethical hackers

Initially, about 15 employees at Rise will work on what is described as “Europe’s most advanced cyber security work” regarding the automotive industry.

Among the employees, there are also so-called “ethical hackers”, i.e., people who have been recruited specifically to test the systems.

“These are hackers who are really good at getting into systems, but not with the aim of inflicting damage, but to help and contribute to better solutions,” Sandvik noted.