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RAID

Police raid 17 homes in Swedish child porn sting

Police have raided 17 homes across Sweden on the suspicion of child pornography crimes, following an investigation into internet chat conversations held between the suspects and a man arrested by police last year.

Police raid 17 homes in Swedish child porn sting

The previous arrest, in June 2011, occurred after police identified a 36-year-old man from the Stockholm suburb of Täby, who was committed to a psychiatric ward after being convicted of child rape, child sexual abuse, and aggravated child pornography offences.

“We found in his material a load of chat conversations. I have extracted a number of these that both shared and received child porn files,” said Henrik Westerberg of the local police to TT news agency.

Westerberg used the chat history to form a list of 60 potential suspects, 20 of whom were traceable residents of Sweden.

Of these 20, three were already known to police from previous arrests. The remaining 17 were all men, with no known connection to one another.

The police began questioning the suspects on Tuesday, and some offenders have already been released, though they are still under suspicion. One man has been detained.

“We are really pleased to get confirmation that our work in tracking these people has been worthwhile,” said Westerberg, who spent several months tracing the suspects through the previously seized material.

Almost 20,000 child porn images and 127 films were seized from the 36-year-old’s home in June.

An earlier raid on the man’s home had uncovered almost 7,000 pictures and 171 films. Several of the films showed young children and were “especially ruthless”, according to police.

The man confessed to aggravated child pornography.

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GANG

Police raid Russian gang at refugee camp

Police raided a refugee housing facility in western Sweden on Thursday, hauling in seven people suspected of having ties to a Russian criminal network.

Police raid Russian gang at refugee camp

Some 50 police officers took part in the raid, which was carried out before 7am on Thursday in Tjörn, at the Tjörnbro Park Camping, just north of Gothenburg.

“The case is aimed at certain, specific people that live and stay at the establishment,” said Jenny Widén of the Gothenburg police to the TT news agency.

“It is suspected that they are a part of criminal networks and organizations.”

The criminals have Russian and Georgian backgrounds and have been under surveillance for several months, according to the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper (GP).

They are suspected of narcotics and weapon crimes, break-ins, and theft, and police confiscated two weapons in the raid, wrote GP.

Police raided three apartments in total and police negotiators stayed behind to explain the incident to around 200 residents living in the vicinity.

The campground facility targeted in the raid is run by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) and houses a large number of asylum seekers from a range of different countries, and even includes families with children.

It’s been used by the agency for the last two years due to a shortage of space in the Migration Board’s regular housing facilities.

The agency’s Fredrik Bengtsson expressed concerns about the raid’s consequences for other asylum seekers and those who think Sweden takes in too many asylum seekers

“It so happens that some suspected crooks live among the hundreds of residents. Of course this can spill over to all the others who are here because they need protection,” he told TT.

“This strengthens the argument for those who are against us taking in more asylum seekers.”

Local authorities have not had previous complaints of crime in the residences.

TT/The Local/og

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