Efforts against organized crime resulted in 467 prison years


Published 28 March 2023 at 15.11

Domestic. The authorities' effort against organized crime led last year to 467 years in prison, the highest number since the initiative began.

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– Together we continue to access large amounts from the criminal economy, says Anders Thornberg, head of the national police, who on Tuesday submitted the 2022 report to the government.

The Crown bailiff seized assets of SEK 73 million, also a record, and almost a doubling compared to with 2021.

– This shows how good it is when authorities cooperate. Criminals' assets such as cars, cash and jewelry become visible in our collaboration. We can, for example, receive information from the Police Agency, the Swedish Customs and the Ecocrimes Agency, which leads to us finding assets that we would otherwise not have been able to see, says Fredrik Rosengren, National Treasury Commissioner, in a press release.

The number of convictions in the district court that concerned serious economic crime increased last year and constitutes an increasingly large part of the crime categories that lead to a conviction. The dominant type of crime was accounting crimes and money laundering. The number of business bans imposed, i.e. such a ban which means that a person is prohibited from running a business, among other things, is the highest since the joint effort by the authorities started. The number of years that food bans must apply is also getting longer.

The report includes the high-profile case of serious money laundering where an exchange office in Stockholm formed the hub. The exchange office was used by criminal networks to launder profits from extensive drug trafficking and to finance payment for smuggled drug consignments. Twelve people were sentenced last November to long prison sentences and ten of them appealed to the Court of Appeal, which reduced the prison time in some cases. The ringleader was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for several serious cases of money laundering, serious drug offenses and serious accounting offences. The confiscated proceeds of crime were determined to be SEK 33 million.

– The investigation clearly illustrates how economic crime is connected with other crime, in this case drug trafficking, says Anders Thornberg.

Serious drug crimes and serious violent crimes, many linked to deadly violence, accounted for the longest prison terms, followed by serious accounting crimes. Even in 2022, evidence from decrypted chat services contributed to good opportunities to bring charges, but more long prison sentences rested on investigations that were conducted without just such supporting evidence.