Police in both Malmö and Copenhagen confirmed that Loyal to Familia is trying to expand into Sweden. Photo: Scanpix
Swedish police told the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet that the gang is trying to build a presence in both Malmö and Helsingborg.
“We know that they have been here in Malmö and are trying to establish themselves and we also know that Loyal to Familia is interested in establishing themselves in Helsingborg,” Malmö Police spokesman Nils Norling told the newspaper.
Copenhagen Police confirmed to Danish news agency Ritzau that it too was aware of Loyal to Familia’s attempts to cross into Sweden.
The gang Loyal to Familia first became active in 2013 and has since been involved in a number of conflicts with rival groups, particularly as it has attempted to expand its reach beyond Copenhagen and into other Danish cities like Aarhus.
Police in Copenhagen and Aarhus have established large ‘stop-and-search zones’ in an attempt to put the brakes on the recent gang violence in both cities.
An expansion into Malmö could be a recipe for increased violence in light of the fact that gun violence claimed the lives of 11 people in the southern Swedish city last year.
Norling told Ekstra Bladet that the gang is likely looking to fill “a power vacuum” in the city.
“It was expected that a gang like Loyal to Familia would try to establish itself in Malmö, and there is a similar situation in Helsingborg,” he said.
The gang’s leader, Shuaib Khan, confirmed that the group is eyeing the two Swedish cities but denied that Loyal to Familia was a “criminal gang”.
“We are a brotherhood, so we don’t open new units in order to commit crimes but rather to enrich our brotherhood,” he wrote in a statement to Ekstra Bladet.
In addition to Copenhagen and Aarhus, Loyal to Familia has units in the Danish cities of Helsingør, Køge, Hillerørd and Nivå.