Police arrested several people in Sweden on Wednesday in connection with the violent robbery of Sheikh Enterprises, a jewellery and clothing store in Oslo’s Grønland district last month. Swedish and Norwegian police targeted several addresses in Stockholm in a coordinated raid during the afternoon.
“We have several investigators in place in Stockholm, with the idea of starting questioning immediately,” Oslo police inspector Einar Aas told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “At the present time we cannot comment on the case further in the interests of the investigation.”
Undercover agents started honing in on the addresses in Stockholm before Easter. NRK reported at least three people were arrested on Wednesday, and police expected more arrests as the action continued.
The raid followed the arrest of one man in Gamlebyen, Oslo earlier in April. Police questioned two Swedish nationals at an address where they’d found one of the alleged getaway cars, and arrested one of the men. No items from the Sheikh Enterprises raid were found in the apartment, but police said they’d found technical and tactical evidence linking the man to the robbery.
A major manhunt has been underway since four masked men carrying automatic weapons stormed Sheikh Enterprises around midday on a Saturday at the end of March. They smashed glass cases and grabbed valuables, before running from the store firing shots in the air in the busy eastern Oslo district. Their getaway car was found on fire about a block away shortly after, but forensic officers were able to recover evidence including gloves.
On Tuesday newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Sheikh Enterprises was one of several gold merchants investigated in a joint action by police, customs and tax officials. The authorities alleged the business had underpaid VAT (known as moms or MVA in Norway), tax and customs duties amounting to NOK 12.8 million (USD 2.1 million) between 2008 and 2011.
The authorities warned Sheikh Enterprises last November about its disputed tax, VAT and financial accounts, along with the imposition of additional taxes, punitive additional tax, surcharges, coercion and charges of selling second-hand gold without permits. Customs intended to take the business to the bankruptcy court in Oslo on Wednesday to recover an outstanding claim of NOK 3.5 million. Most of the shop’s valuable assets were taken in the robbery.