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COCAINE

Swedish ‘cocaine king’ jailed for 18 years

A 40-year-old man was sentenced on Friday to 18 years in prison after he was caught smuggling 1.4 tonnes of cocaine into Sweden as part of what has been labelled Sweden's "biggest ever" cocaine ring.

Swedish 'cocaine king' jailed for 18 years

The cocaine, which had a street value of 4.5 billion kronor ($665 million), had been imported from Colombia.

The 40-year-old, Jonas Oredsson, is believed to be the mastermind behind the trafficking, but he is known to have had help from several people, including his mother.

The court settled on the lengthy penalty after taking the man’s lengthy criminal record into account.

Another man, 56-year-old Mauritz Andersson, was sentenced to 14 years for his involvement. He confessed to the crime.

“I knew that I was engaged in smuggling, I even knew that it was narcotics,” he said during interrogations, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Andersson intends to appeals the verdict.

The crimes, which took place between 2006 and 2010, were uncovered during a record drug bust in June 2010 on a sailboat off Martinique when the 56-year-old sailor was arrested with a 1.4 tonne cargo of cocaine.

The two men were found guilty of attempted aggravated narcotics crimes. Their accomplices, a 30-year-old and a 33-year-old, were sentenced to prison for eight years.

The investigation has been ongoing for four years, and Swedish police have had help from police in the US, Colombia and France, as well as extensive cooperation with European Union agencies Eurojust and Europol.

Oredsson has a lengthy history of criminal activities, including several counts of bank robbery in eastern Sweden, one of which he took a cashier hostage.

He is also known for his escapes from authorities, once being taken by masked and gun wielding men from a correction centre, and once from a court by a man on a motorcycle after having just been sentenced to 12 years prison.

Oredsson’s mother is charged with having hidden 26 million kronor in a foundation in Switzerland.

The criminal network is known to have spent 115 million kronor between 2007 and 2010, including the purchasing of houses and boats in up to five different countries.

Members of the group are also charged with money laundering in Spain.

TT/AFP/The Local/og

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COLOMBIA

Swedish firm SCA in Colombian diaper probe

A company owned by scandal-hit Swedish industry giant SCA is suspected of having been part of two secret cartels to push up the price of, among other things, toilet paper and diapers in Colombia, according to a Swedish newspaper.

Swedish firm SCA in Colombian diaper probe
A company partly owned by a Swedish firm is being investigated for alleged diaper cartels. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

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The companies involved are alleged to have entered into secret deals on the prices as well as quality of their products, reported Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Tuesday. They are part of an ongoing investigation by Colombian authorities.

Swedish forest and paper group SCA owns 50 percent of one of the firms, Productos Familia, which is a market leader in the Colombian soft paper industry.

The company, which among other things produces diapers and toilet paper, is accused of having been involved in starting these suspected cartels in 1998 and 2000.

“We take all these suspicions seriously. Familia cooperates fully with authorities to assist the investigation. The probe concerns activities up until 2013 and extends to, apart from Colombia, other countries in South America. It is yet too early to say exactly what and which countries are part of this,” SCA sustainability officer Kersti Strandqvist told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Stockholm-based SCA is Europe's largest private owner of forest land and manufactures paper, mainly to be used for personal care products.

The reports come as the company struggles to restore its reputation after reports of “excessive” use of private jets by its corporate heads.

READ MORE: How private jets took down a Swedish industry giant

Earlier this year, it was claimed that managers' families had been taken to a hunting lodge owned by SCA and that spouses and children had accompanied executives on foreign business trips, including to the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

The scandal caused unprecedented upheaval to Sweden's boardrooms, with four of its biggest companies – Handelsbanken, Industrivärden, SCA and steelmaker SSAB – all receiving new chairmen earlier this year.