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Several Swedish airport workers linked to criminal gangs: police report

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Several Swedish airport workers linked to criminal gangs: police report
Police say many of the airport staff linked to criminal networks work in the security checks. File photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix
11:50 CET+01:00
Several people working at Sweden's biggest airport have direct or indirect links to some of the country's most notorious criminal networks, a leaked police report showed on Thursday.

In the classified report, which was sent to a number of customs officials in September, police stated that "several individuals with criminal links" worked at strategic positions at Stockholm's Arlanda airport.

This included staff responsible for security checks, the runways and baggage handling services.

According to the report, obtained by Swedish tabloid Kvällsposten, there is evidence to suggest that some of the country's most notorious criminal gangs, including Hells Angels, are involved, and that they may use their inside connections to facilitate drugs- and arms-smuggling operations. Some of the airport staff were also said to be connected to radicalized groups.

At least ten people working in the security check section alone were identified as having either direct or indirect connections to either criminal groups, criminal individuals, or to be on the police watchlist themselves.

Two of these individuals were fired in 2017, with one of them let go explicitly due to security reasons.

The police listed several instances where crimes had been committed with the help of airport staff. They noted for example the case of a cash-smuggler who was able to pass through security despite the X-ray check, as well as a baggage handler who was convicted of drug smuggling.

The report also criticized the airport's passport controls as inadequate, along with Arlanda's camera surveillance systems.

And it also said that the airport is vulnerable to terror threats, warning: "The lack of continuous training can lead to the risk indicators of terror travellers or human trafficking not being used as an operational tool."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that people who were staying in Sweden illegally had worked as cleaners in the police section of the airport.

Stockholm's international Arlanda airport is the largest in the country, with around 25 million travellers passing through it each year.

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