Man arrested in crown jewels theft

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UPDATED: Swedish police arrested a man at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport as he was leaving the country earlier this week, and charged him with the theft of crown jewels stolen in Oslo last week from an African royal heir. Norwegian police have also issued international arrest warrants for two other identified suspects.

Norwegian police released this photo with the stolen crown jewels circled. They’re mostly made of gold and have been handed down through several generations. PHOTO: Politiet

The gold jewelry was stolen from King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II while he was checking into the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in downtown in Oslo. The king, of the Ashanti Empire in what now is the West African country of Ghana, was in Norway to take part in a conference hosted by the Norwegian-African Business Association, and he uses the royal regalia when performing official duties.

Norwegian police gave the unusual theft high priority and their investigation was aided by pictures from a surveillance camera inside the hotel lobby. The man arrested at Arlanda in Sweden has admitted he’s the same man in the photos.

Police are also on the trail of two other suspects in the case. “You can see in the (surveillance camera) photos that a woman was also there, and in addition to her, we have managed to identify a third person whom police believe has also been involved in the theft,” Knut Jostein Sætnan of the Oslo Police told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Police reported on Friday that they’d found two gold pieces of jewelry believed to be part of the royal regalia. Most of the jewelry has not yet been recovered, however, and police continue to seek tips as to its whereabouts. Oslo police have also formally requested that the man arrested be turned over to the Norwegian authorities by the Swedish police for questioning.

He’s expected to arrive in Oslo on Friday, after new rules allowed for quicker extradition of criminal suspects between Nordic countries. The new rules went into effect this week.

“We’re cooperating well with the Swedish police and hope to find the jewels,” said Sætnan in a press release from the Oslo Police District on Thursday.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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