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Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years

A 36-year-old convicted drug smuggler who fled prison in Sweden in 2004 by feigning illness has been caught in Spain after a massive international man hunt that lasted eight years.

Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years

The man, Saoud Rezgani, was sentenced to six years in prison back in 2003 after he was found guilty of smuggling almost 49 kilogrammes of cannabis into Sweden from Denmark.

Not long after entering prison, however, Rezgani complained to prison medical staff of stomach pains and later escaped from the country in connection with a visit to the doctor in 2004.

In his escape, he knocked down the two armed guards who had escorted him to the hospital and took off in a stolen grey Saab 9000, which was later found dumped in Norrtälje.

Rezgani, a Moroccan citizen, managed to evade an international man hunt that continued until late last month when police took him in Malaga on the Spanish coast.

“We have no details of the arrest, but an extradition process, which normally takes a month, has begun in the Spanish court,” said Carolina Ekeus of the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) to the Expressen newspaper.

The man was on the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation’s Ikaros List, an official document listing Sweden’s most wanted men and women.

Rezgani will be handed over to Swedish police upon arrival in the country.

The actual escape is not punishable, according the Aftonbladet newspaper, but police will investigate whether Rezgani, a Moroccan national, committed any further crimes while on the run.

TT/The Local/og

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Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion

A Swedish man who sent bills to thousands of alleged porn surfers and threatened to publish their names if they failed to pay has been sentenced to two and a half years' jail for extortion.

Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion
A Swedish man has been sentenced to prison. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/SCANPIX

The 42-year-old, who had acquired the Swedish rights for streaming videos on a foreign website, sent bills to people he claimed had watched the clips, demanding payment ranging from tens to hundreds of euros.

For those who refused to pay, he raised the amount and threatened to call the police or publish their names on an online “porn blacklist” detailing which videos they had watched and then refused to pay for.

He admitted to 31 cases of aggravated extortion and to 526 cases of attempted extortion. The offences took place in 2012 and 2013.

“The district court has determined that the plaintiffs were subjected to aggravated extortion in the cases where it is proven that they received a bill of this kind,” a court in Malmö, southern Sweden, said in a statement on Monday.

The man told the regional daily Sydsvenskan in 2013 that he had earned millions of kronor (hundreds of thousands of dollars) legally through his website from users who had agreed to the prices mentioned in its terms and conditions.

Although users never left their contact details on the site, he was able to trace them through a list of IP addresses he bought from Sweden's largest internet service provider.