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Monday, June 17, 2024

State seeks extradition of taxi swindler

Norwegian prosecutors were launching extradition proceedings after a Pakistani-Norwegian man convicted of a massive taxi swindle in Oslo was finally arrested in Pakistan over the weekend. Norwegian authorities claim he fled a jail term in Norway, but he claims he traveled back to Pakistan because his father was ill.

“I have not run away from the police,” Mohammed Aslam told newspaper Aftenposten on the phone from a police station in Kharian. Since his Norwegian passport was withdrawn, he believes he has lost his Norwegian citizenship and therefore may “fight my case here.”

Aftenposten has reported extensively on how Aslam once controlled as many as 60 taxis operating in Oslo but was charged and convicted in January 2008 for tax evasion, welfare fraud, money smuggling and illegal weapons possession. He left for Pakistan before his sentence was handed down.

More charges were filed afterwards and he’s suspected of having evaded taxes on his taxi operations in an amount believed to be as much as NOK 100 million.

A Pakistani court has already turned down Aslam’s request to be released on bail. A police inspector claimed Aslam tried to bribe him when he was arrested during an inspection of vehicles in Kharian. He was taken into police custody because of the international warrant issued by Norwegian authorities.

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