Second Swiss citizen arrested in connection with Scandinavian hiker murders

A second Swiss citizen has been arrested in Morocco in connection to the murder of two female Scandinavian hikers in the Atlas mountains.

Second Swiss citizen arrested in connection with Scandinavian hiker murders

The man, a British-Swiss dual national, was arrested in Témara, north of Casablanca, on Thursday according to Moroccan newspaper 360.

His role in the murders is as yet unknown.

Swiss Federal Police have confirmed his arrest but said they had not been asked to investigate him, adding that he had been residing in Morocco and had not been in Switzerland recently.

He is the second Swiss citizen to be arrested in relation to the murder of Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland who were found dead in the High Atlas, south of Marrakesh on December 17th.

The first, a 25-year-old dual Swiss-Spanish national, was arrested on December 29.

The first man, who grew up in Geneva, believed “he had demons in his head who were telling them what to do” and that “thanks to the Koran he had managed finally learned to control them”, according to Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

Read More: Swiss suspect in murder of Scandanavian hikers ‘had psychiatric problems’ 

The first suspect has a criminal record in Switzerland but is not suspected of taking part in the murders. 

Instead, Morocco's central office for judicial investigations believes he may have taught some of those arrested in the case about communication tools and new technology.

According to Moroccan authorities, he may have trained the murderers in marksmanship.


Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Crime in Copenhagen’s hippie enclave of Christiania is increasing, police in the capital say following a number of drugs-related arrests.

Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Copenhagen Police arrested three men on Saturday for selling cannabis on Pusher Street in the alternative enclave of Christiania, as they continue their efforts to stamp out the area’s former open-air cannabis market. 

According to police, 875 people were arrested for selling cannabis in the first 11 months of 2022, more than in any other year over the past four years. 

A possible explanation for the increase in arrests could be that the rewards for operating hash stands have receded, according to a police spokesperson.

“It is extremely unattractive to stand out there, and therefore a lot of new people come in who have no idea what it is all about. Many of them come from outside the catchment area, and some of them are peripherally associated with a criminal group,” Simon Hansen, head of a Copenhagen Police special unit, told newspaper Politiken.

“It’s a bit – in inverted commas – ‘easier’ for us to catch these people,” he said. 

Around half of the stalls in the street are linked to various gangs and biker gangs, such as Satudarah, Bandidos, Hells Angels and Loyal To Familia, with the rest run by people living in Christiania, the Berlingske newspaper reported earlier this month.

The trend of rising crime occurs against a background of potential housing develop in Christiania, as the enclave’s residents decide on a plan to put affordable housing in the area.

Copenhagen Police last year told news wire Ritzau that the majority of people who are arrested within Christiania come from socially underprivileged or marginalised backgrounds.

They are exploited in gang and biker circles, resulting in them in some cases operating the illicit hash market stalls, according to the police.

Conflicts between organised crime groups have reportedly become more frequently aired in the Pusher Street market.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on