Wanted Swedish couple arrested in Vietnam

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Wanted Swedish couple arrested in Vietnam
The beach near Phan Thiet City, where the Swedish couple was arrested

A couple from northern Sweden who fled the country after being convicted for swindling unknowing Swedes into funding fictional projects in Thailand have been arrested in Vietnam.


Birgitta Eklund Mickelsson and Göran Lundgren, both 58, were each sentenced to two and a half years in prison by the Svea Court of Appeal in April 2010 for defrauding Swedes of nearly one million kronor to pay for fictitious building projects in Thailand between 2005 and 2007.

But before they started to serve their sentence, the pair fled Sweden, prompting Swedish authorities to issue an international arrest warrant in late 2010.

After a year on the run, however, Eklund Mickelsson and Lundgren were arrested by police in Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province, southern Vietnam on December 23rd.

The Swedish National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) is now trying to get the pair extradited to Sweden, said Niclas Carlsson, deputy assistant head of the Division of International Police Cooperation (IPO), to the local Norran newspaper.

“I can reveal that we have been communicating with the Vietnamese authorities, but other than that I do not want to comment any further," he told the newspaper.

According to Norran, the couple had reportedly fled to Vietnam to launch new construction projects.

Several witnesses have said they met the couple in Vietnam and detailed information has been given to the police about the couple’s whereabouts.

A spokesperson from the Swedish foreign ministry confirmed that Eklund Mickelsson and Lundgren had been arrested.

"A person from the Swedish consulate in Saigon is going to visit them and see if they need anything," foreign ministry spokesperson Jan Janonius told the Metro newspaper.

Although Niclas Carlsson at the IPO cannot comment on specific investigations due to confidentiality, he has revealed that the couple was arrested on 23rd December in Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province, southern Vietnam.

It has not been confirmed as to how long it will take to get the couple extradited from Vietnam to Sweden.

According to Carlsson, it could take anywhere from a week to several months.


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