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COLOMBIA

Family of Swede lost in Colombia fear worst

A 26-year old Swedish man has been reported missing in Colombia. The family of Jan Braunisch, from Norrköping, were last in contact with him in May and have now contacted Interpol to try and find him.

Family of Swede lost in Colombia fear worst

Braunisch arrived in Colombia on May 8th and was intending to travel on to Panama. He emailed his wife in the middle of May, but since then there has been zero communication, reported the Expressen newspaper on Thursday.

“I’ve reported him missing to the police,” said his sister Aleqzia who added that her brother was a veteran traveller.

“He’s well used to travelling. Recently, he spent six months in Africa by himself.”

Braunisch was keeping a blog of his trip but hasn’t updated it since May 15th. His last post mentioned his intention to visit Panama where he would have to cross the notorious Darien jungle region which borders the two countries.

The region is known as a haven for drug cartels and guerilla paramilitaries.

“I’m in riosucio now, on the atrato river. From here it’s not far from panama. There are supposedly quite many paths from here to panama. We’ll see how it goes,” wrote Braunisch in his last email.

It is understood that the young traveller, who has already visited 50 countries, was intending to spend three months exploring South America. He described on his blog that the adventure would include ‘walking through at least one jungle.’

He was studying for his PhD in statistics at Purdue University in the US. Braunisch is fluent in five languages and his blog is entitled ‘9 countries, 3 months.’

“I don’t know what to think or what might have happened to him. It’s obvious that his trip has taken a new turn but I still hope to hear from him. It’s possible he does not have any (mobile) coverage,” added his sister Aleqzia.

One commenter on his blog was not holding out hope for Braunisch’s safe return writing: “Only narco guerrillas, highly trained combat-jungle police, indigenous people who didn’t see anything, and nasty critters go through there. This is probably one of the most dangerous areas south of the US border.”

TT/The Local/pr

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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.