Kristiansand mayor fends off extortion threat

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The new mayor of the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand was met with a threat of extortion when he returned home one day last week. Arvid Grundekjøn, who formerly held top posts in a variety of major Norwegian businesses, called it all “frightening.”

The website for local newspaper Fedrelandsvennen reported that it began when Grundekjøn, age 56, arrived at his house just outside Krisiansand’s downtown area and found a rope tied to the doorknob. When he pulled on the rope, he discovered it was tied to an envelope that emerged from the bushes next to the door.

A letter in the envelope informed Grundekjøn that he and his family would be subjected to “extremely uncomfortable things” if he didn’t pay a large sum of money. He was warned not to go to the police and the extortionists claimed they had him under surveillance.

Grundekjøn did call the police, however, they mobilized after a discreet meeting and eventually arrested two 18-year-old boys who were behind the threats.

“I was both scared and upset, scared about what might happen to my family and upset that such things can happen in little Kristiansand,” Grundekjøn said. He formerly has been either chief executive or chairman of various shipping firms, real estate firms Norwegian Property and Linstow and Statkraft before being urged to run for mayor for the Conservative Party in Kristiansand.

Views and News staff