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Police face machine gun fire in bank robbery

A branch of Handelsbanken in Flen in eastern Sweden was robbed on Wednesday morning by masked men armed with machine guns.

Police face machine gun fire in bank robbery

According to local police, one of their vehicles came under fire in connection with the robbery but there are no reports of any officers sustaining injuries.

“They shot with a machine gun at the police unit which arrived at the scene in a vehicle. The vehicle was hit, but there are no details regarding anyone having been injured,” Elin Almqvist of Södermanland County police told the TT news agency.

Almqvist said that reports indicated that four men hit the branch. A burning car has been found near Vallmotorp on route 56 near Katrineholm. Police suspect that the car could have been the robbers’ getaway car and it will be examined by a forensic specialists.

The hunt for the robbers is ongoing, with police deploying a helicopter and setting up roadblocks in the area.

A nationwide alert has also been issued, and special operations teams of the police’s National Task Force (Nationella Insatsstyrkan) have been called to join participate in the effort.

“We’re using all available resources,” said Almqvist.

A further car was also found to have been set alight in the vicinity of the bank during the course of the robbery, according to Almqvist.

“I heard the shots and staff from the bank came into my store and screamed that it was a robbery. They were shocked, and when I looked out I saw a masked man with a machine gun standing outside the bank,” said one woman who runs a store in the vicinity of Handelsbanken.

Södermanland police have informed neighbouring police authorities.

Almqvist said that the police are treating the robbery as an isolated incident.

“This means that it is this (case) that we are working on now,” she said.

According to the police the robbers fled Flen, located around 110 kilometres south-west of Stockholm, in a silver-coloured Volvo heading north.

Police received an alarm about the theft at 9.38am on Wednesday morning.

It remains unclear whether or not the robbers made off with any loot, but a witness told the local Eskilstuna-Kuriren newspaper that he saw one of the masked men come out through a window in the back of the bank holding a bag.

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CRIMINAL

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

An erroneous press release published on Friday indicating that Swedish firm Fingerprint Cards had been acquired by Samsung led to a sharp rise in the firm's stock and a criminal investigation once the mistake had been discovered.

Bluff bid for Swedish firm sparks market turmoil

“An investigation has shown that the company followed its routines and was subjected to a deliberate fraud attempt,” business wire service Cision, the firm responsible for publishing the press release, said in a statement on Friday.

Fingerprint Cards, a Gothenburg-based biometric technology firm, issued a denial on its homepage on Friday that it had been acquired by the Korean electronics giant.

“The news in today’s media that Fingerprint Cards AB has been acquired by Samsung is incorrect… What has happened will be reported to the police and to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority,” the firm wrote.

The matter is now being handled by the Swedish Economic Crimes Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) which has opened a preliminary investigation into aggravated fraud.

Trading in the company’s stock was halted as soon as the abnormal share fluctuations were detected on Friday morning and all trades completed between 10.17am and 10.34 have been nullified.

Fingerprint Cards’ stock has been one of the Stockholm exchange’s strongest performers since the turn of the year, having climbed over 320 percent since January 1st.

The latest Apple Iphone incorporates the firm’s fingerprint sensor.

All trades from 10.17am have also been nullified in sector colleague Precise Biometrics, which also climbed steeply on Friday.

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