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Police raid Russian gang at refugee camp

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Police raid Russian gang at refugee camp
11:59 CET+01:00
Police raided a refugee housing facility in western Sweden on Thursday, hauling in seven people suspected of having ties to a Russian criminal network.

Some 50 police officers took part in the raid, which was carried out before 7am on Thursday in Tjörn, at the Tjörnbro Park Camping, just north of Gothenburg.

“The case is aimed at certain, specific people that live and stay at the establishment,” said Jenny Widén of the Gothenburg police to the TT news agency.

“It is suspected that they are a part of criminal networks and organizations.”

The criminals have Russian and Georgian backgrounds and have been under surveillance for several months, according to the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper (GP).

They are suspected of narcotics and weapon crimes, break-ins, and theft, and police confiscated two weapons in the raid, wrote GP.

Police raided three apartments in total and police negotiators stayed behind to explain the incident to around 200 residents living in the vicinity.

The campground facility targeted in the raid is run by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) and houses a large number of asylum seekers from a range of different countries, and even includes families with children.

It's been used by the agency for the last two years due to a shortage of space in the Migration Board's regular housing facilities.

The agency's Fredrik Bengtsson expressed concerns about the raid's consequences for other asylum seekers and those who think Sweden takes in too many asylum seekers

“It so happens that some suspected crooks live among the hundreds of residents. Of course this can spill over to all the others who are here because they need protection,” he told TT.

“This strengthens the argument for those who are against us taking in more asylum seekers.”

Local authorities have not had previous complaints of crime in the residences.

TT/The Local/og

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