Ticket company CEO suspected of fraud

The CEO of ticket resellers Biljett Nu has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, reported Swedish media on Saturday, as the company has sold tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s two Gothenburg concerts and then failed to deliver.

“I can confirm that this involves the company CEO,” said police spokesman Peter Adlersson to the TT news agency.

The man was brought in for questioning just outside the Ullevi concert arena in Gothenburg, moments before the concert was due to begin at 8pm Friday.

He was then arrested, under suspicion of fraud.

“Money was found on him. I can’t confirm the exact sum, but it’s quite a significant amount anyway,” said Adlersson.

According to Anders Olofsson of the police’s fraud unit, selling a product that turns out not to be available is not necessarily a crime.

“If it’s a serious company that wants to make its customers happy, and they were convinced it would be possible to obtain tickets, but then failed to do so, they haven’t done anything illegal,” Olofsson said to the TT Spektra news agency.

For the police to become involved, the company has to have shown direct intent to trick its customers.

“However, if they were selling tickets despite knowing that there were none, that’s a different situation,” Olofsson said.

Biljett Nu sells advance sale tickets for events by buying and trading tickets on the second hand market. It says on the company’s website that entrance to the event is guaranteed as soon as the ticket is paid.

There is no information about tickets not always being guaranteed.

It’s unclear how many were left without a ticket for Friday’s concert at Ullevi, and how many still have no ticket for Saturday evening’s show.

“It’s impossible to say. We get tickets all the time, so some people will get their ticket after all. But we’re going to have to continue making calls for Saturday’s concert. There aren’t enough tickets,” said Biljett Nu’s Robert Jakobsson to TT Spektra.

According to the company, all customers left without tickets will be compensated.

“We’re very sorry. They’ll have to mail us their account numbers and we’ll reimburse them,” said Jakobsson.

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Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.