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CURRENCY

Malmö police: surge in number of fake notes in circulation

Police in Malmö and Lund have warned people to be wary after a record number of frauds using counterfeit 500 and 200 kronor notes.

Malmö police: surge in number of fake notes in circulation
Two years after Sweden released new 500 kronor notes, fakes are already in circulation. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
“People have to be extremely watchful about this,” Nils Norling from the Malmö Police told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
 
“Normally, you can see something about the note that doesn't look right. It doesn't have the same vibrance, or feels different from a normal note.” 
 
According to Malmö police, there have been 22 cases of fraud or attempted fraud using counterfeit currency in the first few weeks of this year. And in the nearby city of Lund, there were two similar frauds over the weekend in which people bought mobile phones secondhand using counterfeit notes. 

“Police suspect that more people may have been affected and that more are going to be affected because the buyers with counterfeit notes appeared to be in possession of more counterfeit notes than those they paid with,” Calle Persson, a police spokesperson, wrote in a statement published on Monday. 
 
According to Persson, the two victims had met buyers in person and taken payment in 500 kronor notes. They only discovered later that the notes were counterfeit. 
 
The current 500 kronor note, which features the opera singer Birgit Nilsson, was introduced in 2016. 
 
It has fibres spread across the note, which fluoresce under ultraviolet light, as well as a UV image of three crowns, a colour shifting image, a security thread, a security, a watermark, and intaglio print, all of which make printing a convincing counterfeit challenging. 
 
There were a total of 69 reports of counterfeit currency being used last year.  
 
In October last year, police in Malmö warned that fast food restaurants had reported customers attempting paying with fake 500 kronor notes. And in June, a supermarket reported three men for defrauding it of 3,000 kronor, after they visited it three times in the same day, each time making small purchases with fake 500 kronor notes and pocketing the change. 
 

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for deadly 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 deadly 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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