SHARE
COPY LINK

OFFBEAT

Swede paid friend to serve his prison sentence

A 37-year-old Gothenburg man managed to avoid jail time by paying a friend to serve his prison sentence while disappearing off abroad.

Swede paid friend to serve his prison sentence

“This kind of scam would be impossible for us to expose,” said Elisabeth Lager, legal expert as the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) to news agency TT.

The 37-year-old was convicted in January 2008 to one year in prison, after being found guilty of charges ranging from copyright infringement to breaking Swedish medical laws and handling smuggled goods.

However, as he was not held in remand at the time of his conviction, he had plenty of time to make arrangements before having to start his sentence, according to newspaper Expressen.

After acquiring a driver’s licence in his name but with his friend’s photo, he convinced the other man to do his jail time, had a new passport made at the consulate in Amsterdam, and fled Europe for Asia.

Police now believe he is living in the Philippines and have issued an international warrant for his arrest.

The scam wasn’t exposed until a police officer, at the prison to interrogate the 37-year-old, realized that the wrong person was facing him across the table.

“We were the victims of advanced con,” said Ulf Jonson of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service to Expressen.

He added that the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen), in charge of issuing Swedish drivers’ licences, had also been hoodwinked.

By the time the stand-in prisoner was discovered, he had already served a significant amount of the convicted man’s prison sentence.

If he had stayed in jail for the entire sentence without the scam having been noticed, the convicted man could have walked free.

“We would have considered the time to have been served,” said Eilsabeth Lager to TT.

There has been an international arrest warrant issued for the 37-year-old ever since it was discovered in May that the wrong man had been jailed.

The hired man has been let out of jail since the discovery.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
SHOW COMMENTS