File photo of Jonas Falk's 2010 arrest. Photo: DAS/TT
Falk, known as Sweden’s “cocaine king” and characterized by El País as “Sweden’s most famous criminal”, was arrested in Colombia back in 2010 for his alleged role in a massive cocaine smuggling operation.
Swedish and Spanish authorities collaborated on the investigation and Falk was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Swedish court in 2013. He appealed against the decision and in 2014, the Svea Court of Appeals concluded that there was not sufficient evidence against him.
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Falk was then extradited to Spain to face money-laundering charges but that trial was halted when it was ruled that Falk had not been given enough time to prepare for his defense. He was released pending a new investigation, which only recently concluded.
He now faces money laundering and tax evasion charges and risks 20 years in prison as well as 24 million euro in fines.
Through a statement provided by his Spanish lawyer, Falk maintained his innocence.
Falk, previously known as Jonas Oredsson, is believed to be the mastermind behind what was described as the “biggest ever” cocaine ring in Sweden, in which at least 1.4 tonnes tons of cocaine at a value of 4.5 billion kronor was imported from Colombia.
Falk 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.
Falk, 46, is a Swedish citizen but a registered resident in Spain.