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New witnesses found in helicopter heist case

Deputy prosecutor-general Kerstin Skarp has decided to re-open the preliminary investigation into the case of Alexander Eriksson, who was found guilty of piloting the chopper in the 2009 helicopter heist.

New witnesses found in helicopter heist case
Police footage from inside the G4S security depot in Västberga, south Stockholm.

“This is a very positive development,” Eriksson’s defense lawyer Ragnar von Bentzeen told daily Aftonbladet.

Three years ago, a stolen helicopter landed on the roof of the G4S security firm depot in Västberga in southern Stockholm and three armed men smashed their way into the building through the atrium window on the roof.

The robbers then deployed explosives to blast open a series of doors and make their way in to the depot’s cash reserves.

After 20 to 25 minutes, the men loaded up the helicopter and disappeared.

The first of the men and a section of the loot were deposited in the Draget district in the Norsborg suburb, before a second drop-off was made at Kaananbadet beach in the Bromma area.

The abandoned helicopter was later found in Skavlöten to the north of Stockholm.

Only 56,000 kronor ($7,793) of the reported 39 million kronor ($5.3 million dollars cash stolen by the thieves has since been recovered.

Eriksson denied his involvement in the heist from the very beginning, claiming to have been high on drugs at the time of the robbery but was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

There is footage of Eriksson at 6.50 entering a McDonald’s eatery in Täby, a suburb of Stockholm.

Witness statements claimed to have heard and seen the helicopter around the landing site in Arninge just after 6am on the day of the heist.

But according to Norrtelje Tidning, new evidence suggests that the chopper didn’t touch down on the site until 7am – when the alleged pilot couldn’t have been in the air.

The prosecutor-general has decided to re-open the case and want to call six new witnesses, according to the paper.

“It is fairly unusual for these kinds of cases to be re-opened so there must be something of substance that they have uncovered,” Bentzeen told Aftonbladet.

According to the lawyer, his client is very pleased with the developments.

Prosecutors in Stockholm will now hear the new witnesses and decide if the case should be re-tried.

The Local/rm

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BOMB

Cows deployed in mosquito plague fight

Gävleborg County Council in northern Sweden has announced that it has recruited 200 cows to graze land where mosquitoes lay their eggs in a bid to deal with the problem which afflicts residents of the Dalälv region every summer.

Cows deployed in mosquito plague fight

“We have studied how mosquito larvae are affected by mowing and grazing and found that there were fewer mosquito larvae there,” said Ingemar Lindquist at the county council to the local Gefle Dagbladet daily.

Long-suffering residents will have to wait until next year for the latest elixir, which according to one researcher will chew away some 70 percent of the mosquito larvae.

Efforts are taken every year to stem the development of mosquitoes in the lush Dalälven region. Last year the government authorized the bombing of the whole area with pesticide by helicopter.

The use of pesticide has serious environmental consequences however and the bovine solution is the latest in attempts to find more creative approaches to the blood-sucking insect plague.

There is furthermore the risk that if pesticides are deployed too often then the insects will develop a resistance and residents will forever be at their mercy.

To illustrate the problem, when mosquito traps are set in the peak summer period as many as 5,000 insects can be caught in one night alone.

TT/The Local/pvs

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