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CRIME

Danish family smuggled 69 dogs, 10 horses and 4 goats to Sweden

A Danish family of four have been found guilty of smuggling after they moved from Denmark to Sweden and brought their 83 animals without the proper paperwork.

Danish family smuggled 69 dogs, 10 horses and 4 goats to Sweden
File photo of goats not related to the story. Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/TT

It all started when the family moved from Denmark to Sweden in 2014, to rent a farm.

The father, the only one of the four with a driving licence, made several round trips to Sweden to transport the family's belongings and their animals to their new home, while the rest of the family made the journey by train.

But the animals were never reported to Swedish Customs Agency and the majority of them lacked the necessary documents such as passports and recent veterinary certificates.

The case was brought to Swedish authorities' attention when the county administrative board visited the farm for a routine check and, after contacting the Swedish Board of Agriculture, launched an investigation.

Malmö District Court on Tuesday found them guilty of smuggling, according to court documents seen by The Local, but emphasized it was not an aggravated smuggling offence, as the family had no previous convictions and it turned out there had been no risk of the animals spreading diseases.

The father was nevertheless handed a conditional sentence and a 5,000 kronor ($625) fine. The other three – his wife and her daughter and partner – were each fined 3,000 kronor.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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