Norwegian swindler arrested in Spain

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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Norwegian’s subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt

The struggling low-cost airline Norwegian has reported its staffing subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden have filed for bankruptcy, meaning roughly three quarters of its pilots and crew will lose their jobs.

Norwegian's subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt
A Norwegian Air Shuttle plane: Photo: Norwegian

In a press release issued on Monday afternoon, the airline said that the financial support packages offered by the Swedish and Danish government had not been sufficiently generous to keep the subsidiaries which employ pilots and cabin crew in the two countries solvent. 

”The impact the Coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented. We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark”, said Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram in the statement.  

“Our pilots and cabin crew are the core of our business and they have done a fantastic job for many years.”

“It is heart-breaking that our Swedish and Danish pilot and cabin crew subsidiaries now are forced to file for bankruptcy, and I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues,”  Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram said in the statement.  

“We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible.”

The company said it was also immediately ending staffing deals with the OSM Aviation, which supplies it with crew based in Spain, UK, Finland, Sweden and the US.

The company said that 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew would be affected by the move, with only the 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy being kept on.

In the release, the company blamed the “the lack of significant financial support” from the Swedish and Danish governments, which it contrasted with that of Norway, which has agreed to pay “all salary related costs” while staff are furloughed. 

The companies declared bankrupt include: 
Norwegian Pilot Services Sweden AB
Norwegian Pilot Services Denmark ApS
Norwegian Cabin Services Denmark ApS
Norwegian Air Resources Denmark LH ApS