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CRIME

Millions of kronor of Swedish snus stolen in inside job

An employee at tobacco company Swedish Match’s Gothenburg has been charged with with stealing over 100,000 cans of snus, a moist powder tobacco originating from dry snuff.

Millions of kronor of Swedish snus stolen in inside job
The employee is accused of stealing 14 pallets of snus cans. Photo: Polisens Förundersökning
According to a report by regional newspaper GT, the employee carried out the insider heist over the span of six months and the stolen snus is valued at 3.7 million kronor ($430,000, €360,000). Prosecutors say that the man sold the stolen cans for 20-30 kronor each. 
 
The Swedish Match employee, who was not identified, is charged with stealing 14 pallets of snus between July 2017 and January 2018. Prosecutors say that the man stole the pallets and then took them to a secluded area in the company’s Gothenburg factory and loaded them into an accomplice’s lorry. 
 
Surveillance footage caught the man in action and he has admitted to the theft. Police found nearly half a million kronor in cash in his home. 
 
 
Another man who is accused of driving the lorry loaded with stolen snus on eight occasions has denied his guilt. 
 
Prosecutors allege that the two men were in on the plan together and split the profits of the stolen loot. 
 
Snus, also known as Swedish snuff, is more popular than cigarettes in Sweden. Its sale is illegal across the EU but Sweden has been granted an exception and is allowed to sell the product within its borders. Swedes' affinity for snus can be off-putting to outsiders
 
Swedish Match declined to comment on the case. 
 
“We do not comment on individual employees, existing or former,” the company’s press spokesman, Johan Wredberg, wrote to GT. 

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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