Prison for Swede who ‘kidnapped himself’

A 29-year-old man from northern Sweden, who staged his own kidnapping to blackmail his parents into giving him money, has been convicted and sentenced to ten months in prison.

The man had telephoned his parents, telling them of the kidnappers’ “demands”; that they should bring 15,000 kronor ($2,243) to an Umeå location, which they did in order to ensure their son’s immediate release, according to local paper Västerbottenskuriren (VK).

However, after handing over the money to their son’s 52-year-old accomplice, they alerted the police.

After several people close to the 29-year-old had been questioned it turned out he had been staying at the acquaintance’s house at the time of the alleged kidnapping and hadn’t been missing at all, according to the paper.

During the days prior to the phone call, the man had in fact been staying at a number of hotels in the area without paying his bills, sometimes with a friend and sometimes on his own.

The man was initially charged with extortion and admitted to all allegations but the prosecutor who wanted him charged with fraud brought the case to the appeals court.

The appeals court agreed and the man was subsequently convicted of aggravated fraud and sentenced to ten months in prison. His accomplice was given a probationary sentence.

The 29-year-old has previously been convicted for a number of crimes including robbery, fraud and assault, reported VK at the time of his arrest.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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