The long-running Swedish gang conflict linked to Copenhagen double killing

The fatal shootings of two men in Herlev near Copenhagen last week may be connected with an ongoing and bloody conflict between two organized crime gangs in Swedish capital Stockholm.

The long-running Swedish gang conflict linked to Copenhagen double killing
The scene of the shooting in Herlev on June 25th. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Ritzau Scanpix

Police in Sweden are therefore concerned that the situation could escalate following what appears to have been a liquidation in Copenhagen last week, in which the two victims' Swedish-registered car was riddled with shots from multiple weapons.

As a result, police presence has been stepped up in three Stockholm neighbourhoods in a bid to prevent further violence.

“Such an act almost always has consequences. That is something we are trying to prevent,” Stephan Kiernan, leader of Swedish police special unit Team 2022, told Svenska Dagbladet.

The police force will increase presence in the Rinkeby, Tensta and Kista areas in Stockholm.

One of the victims of last week's shooting, a 23-year-old, has been reported by several media to have a leading role in a gang known as Shottaz, which is connected to Rinkeby. The individual was manager for a local rapper who is currently in prison for weapons offences, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Danish police appeared to have made a breakthrough in the case on Saturday, when a 21-year-old Swedish-speaking man was arrested in Aarhus before appearing in court at Glostrup near Copenhagen.

The nature of the charges against the man have not been made public.

Newspaper Ekstra Bladet published images showing the dramatic nature of the Aarhus arrest, showing a man climbing outside an apartment building two storeys above ground level.

That man belongs to another gang, Dödspatrullen, according to the Danish newspaper's report. The two Swedish crime groups have reportedly been in conflict since 2015, with seven people losing their lives as a result. Only one of those seven cases – the shooting of a man in a pizzeria in Rinkeby – has been solved by police.

Earlier this year, Svenska Dagbladet published an investigation in which it mapped out the structure of the two groups, in which 20 central figures have been convicted of 330 crimes.

A common feature of the gang members is their young age and serious nature of their crimes. The shooter in the pizzeria murder was just 16 years old.

All of the 20 individuals were known to social services in Stockholm, but efforts to steer them away from crime appear to have been ineffective.

“Some of them have little faith in the future,” a policeman close to the issue was quoted as saying in Svenska Dagbladet's report.

Copenhagen West Police superintendent Flemming Madsen declined on Sunday to comment further on the Danish investigation of the Herlev shooting.

READ ALSO: Man arrested over double killing of Swedes in Copenhagen: report

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Why are waste containers overflowing on Copenhagen’s streets?

Refuse collectors in Copenhagen have extended a strike into a fifth day despite being fined by a labour court.

Why are waste containers overflowing on Copenhagen’s streets?

One of the striking waste collectors, Michael Johansen, told media TV2 Kosmopol in an SMS that the action was “continuing”, adding that the workers were currently in “a meeting”.

The strike means that rubbish has not been collected in large parts of the city as well as in outlying Tårnby and Dragør throughout this week.

Johansen also told TV2 that the refuse workers would not meet again until Monday, meaning a resolution is unlikely to come before the weekend.

The strike is ongoing despite fines being handed down to the workers by the Danish Labour Court (Ardejdsretten) on Thursday. The court can fine workers for striking if the strike has not been officially sanctioned by their trade union and therefore in breach of collective bargaining agreements.

READ ALSO: What is a Danish collective bargaining agreement?

Strikes which go ahead without approval from unions are not permitted under the agreements. They are commonly referred to as “wildcat strikes”.

Union-approved strikes can occur in situations in which bargaining negotiations between the union and employers’ organisations break down. In these situations, they are considered part of negotiation tactics.

The fine issued by the Labour Court on Thursday totals as much as 1.2 million kroner, and corresponds to 50 kroner per hour for unskilled refuse collectors and 56 kroner per hour for skilled workers, according to the trade union publication Fagbladet 3F.

The hourly rate means the fine will increase throughout the day on Friday. Their trade unions earlier advised they should not continue the walkout.

Refuse collectors have stepped away from their duties this week over a conflict with Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC), the company which operates waste disposal facilities in Copenhagen including the Amager Bakke incinerator, a 124-metre tall, sloping building which can be seen from most of the southern part of the city.

The company is set to become the collectors’ employer as Copenhagen Municipality takes over refuse collection businesses in the city from private subcontractors, according to TV2 Kosmopol.

This means the workers will become employees of the public-owned ARC.

They oppose working conditions which could apply to them following the transition on September 1st.

According to TV2 Kosmopol, the grievance is related to a change of rules which will prevent the workers from finishing work early if they have completed their collection rounds. ARC wants them to have set working hours, citing safety.

The company also wants time to allow sufficient charging of electric rubbish trucks.