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Swedish 'prisoners' send mail order cry for help

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08:22 CEST+02:00
A Finnish customer of hardware giant Bauhaus found a plea for help purported to be from Swedish "prisoners" who said they were being beaten and raped when he bought a box of doorknobs, a report said Monday.

"This is an SOS message from the prisoners of Berga. We are raped and beaten every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday," said the message, according to Finnish newspaper Aamulehti.

The message was written in Swedish in black marker on the inside of the cardboard packaging and dated April 5th.

There is a prison in the Berga neighbourhood of the southern Swedish city of Helsingborg, but an official there denied knowledge of the case to AFP and refused to comment further.

The box was bought at a Bauhaus store near the western Finnish city of Tampere, but the customer told Aamulehti that it had been opened and re-sealed with double-sided tape, indicating that the message could have been written after the package left the factory.

Local police chief Antti Heijari told the newspaper he believed the message to be a "bad joke."

"It appears the package in question is years old," Heijari said, adding that such doorknobs had not been delivered to that particular Bauhaus store since 2007.

The message also said the "prisoners" were being deprived of food, and asked that media and "Insider" be contacted, possibly in reference to a Swedish investigative reporting show.

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