Norwegian and Swedish police are teaming up in an effort to prevent a deadly wave of gang violence from spreading. It has led to at least seven murders in Sweden in the past 10 days, usually involving youngsters recruited by gangs and organized crime because they can’t be charged with criminal liability.
Norway’s director of police, Benedicte Bjørnland, met with her Swedish counterpart Anders Thornberg last week as the violence continued in towns and cities all over Sweden. Boys as young as 13 have been found tortured and murdered, possibly because they failed to carry out orders or to frighten others into working for rival gangs and organizations involved in the drug trade. Relatives of the youngsters have also been targeted.
Swedish broadcaster SVT has reported that a network whose leader is now based in Turkey wants to build alliances with local criminal networks in Norway and Finland, where there are markets for cocaine and other drugs. “We see an unfortunate development in Norway, and that’s what we’re trying to halt,” Bjørnland told newspaper Aftenposten.