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Norwegian swindler arrested in Spain

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14:13 CET+01:00
A Norwegian man wanted on suspicion of kidnapping, robbing and extorting several million kronor from wealthy Swedish men was caught and arrested in Spain on Thursday.

The trial of three of the suspected accomplices of Philip Holst-Cappelen was supposed to end at Stockholm district court on Friday, but with his arrest, it is unclear what will happen.

"It is extremely gratifying that the man has been arrested. Now the question remains as to what will happen with the case," prosecutor Ulrika Lindsö told news agency TT.

Holst-Cappelen, 45, has been under suspicion, along with his three accomplices, for the kidnapping, threatening, robbing and extorting several wealthy Swedish men. The trial deals with two men who exposed the crimes of the gang.

Holst-Cappelen successfully made off with 15.6 million kronor ($2.41 million) from the two victims and has been on an international wanted list. His companions were not as lucky and were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery and accessory to kidnapping.

"We are now discussing what should happen to the man and the trial. Since he is also wanted in Norway, it is very unclear. Now it is Spain that will decide whether the man will be extradited here," said Lindsö.

The court has decided that she will continue to present her case later on Friday despite the arrest, when she addresses an assault that took place in Gothenburg.

Holst-Cappelen and a 32-year-old Indonesian male accomplice lived in an apartment that shared an entrance with a 47-year-old millionaire's home in Gothenburg.

After tracking his movements for several months, they held the man hostage in his apartment for six days in March 2010 until he transferred more than 3.6 million kronor to them. The man did not report the incident to police because the assailants had threatened to kill his mother.

Several months later, the gang kidnapped another millionaire in his apartment on Stockholm's exclusive Strandvägen for three days until he transferred 12 million kronor to them.

Holst-Cappelen is alleged to have targetted other high-earning Swedes as potential victims by scrutinising salary lists and information about family members.

The trial continues next Friday with the parties' pleas.

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