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Gun smuggling on the rise in Sweden: police

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Gun smuggling on the rise in Sweden: police
14:13 CEST+02:00
Firearms are becoming more readily available in Sweden with smuggling increasingly difficult to control, according to the police.

While only 12 weapons have been seized by Swedish customs to date this year, the problem is far more extensive with a large number of unrecorded cases, according to a report by Sveriges Radio (SR).

"We are talking about the post, containers, rail goods, trucks and commercial vessels. There is a huge flow. There are many channels and we are not even close to being able to control everything," said Lars Bäckström at the Swedish customs to SR.

Swedish cities, primarily Gothenburg and Malmö, have been the scene of several shootings in recent months.

Witnesses to a shooting in a Malmö car park on May 11th described the killing as an "execution" in what was apparently a hit with links to organized crime, an increasing problem in both cities.

Police fear that the greater availability of illegal weapons could be behind the rise in gun crimes in Swedish cities with the number of weapons seized increasing from year to year.

According to the latest national police figures for 2008, 850 weapons were seized in Sweden, but police report coming across an increasing number of illegal weapons.

Lars Bäckström told SR that the customs service is need of reinforcements in order to cope with the influx.

"If you compare with other information and intelligence which we work with then you could say the information on weapons and arms smuggling is thin," he said to SR.

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