‘Kidnapped’ man found dead in western Sweden

'Kidnapped' man found dead in western Sweden
Swedish police investigate the scene where the body was found. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
Swedish police have launched a murder investigation after a 27-year-old man who was reportedly kidnapped in southern Gothenburg was found dead.

A search was launched last week after witnesses said they had seen the man, Anton, being beaten by a group of three to four other men in a car park before being bundled into a red Passat.

The police released his picture with the family's permission, appealing for the help of the public in finding him. The red car was discovered south of Gothenburg on Friday night.

But at 7pm on Sunday a body was found near the Sisjön lake in Askim in western Sweden, not far from where the man was abducted. Later in the evening police confirmed that it was Anton.

“It is incredibly tragic. Our thoughts naturally go to his relatives,” head of the regional police's investigation unit Robert Karlsson told the TT news agency.

Forensic teams investigated the sealed-off area overnight.

A kidnapping probe was launched after Anton disappeared earlier in the week. Two men and a woman were still being held by police on Monday morning.

Officers previously said that they believed the kidnapping could be related to an unpaid debt, but did not comment on whether they thought the violence to be linked to recent gang crime in Gothenburg.

Sweden's second largest city has seen a number of high profile shootings in recent months, including an attack outside a restaurant which made global headlines.

Amir Rostami, a leading authority on Sweden's organized crime groups, who is based at Stockholm University, told The Local earlier this year that organized crime remains a persistent problem in Gothenburg, after first emerging in the 1990s.

“Today, the gang environment is…I don't want to exactly call it the Wild West, but something in that direction,” he said.