"The baton batches seized at Arlanda Airport are mostly imported from European countries such as Estonia, Germany and the Netherlands, but originate from Asia and almost exclusively China," Mats Pettersson, the head of border protection unit at the Swedish Customs Agency, told SVT.
The customers are most often young men aged 18 to 35, who by their own admission want to protect themselves and their loved ones, yet elderly women also have been reported among baton buyers. Swedish authorities were obviously taken aback by the findings and failed to produce a reasonable explanation.
"This started at the end of last year. Before that, we never saw such a major influx. In spring and summer it continued to increase and does not seem to end either," Mats Petterson pointed out. "This year, we did not take any specific measures to find and seize more batons. We honestly do not know why people have started to smuggle more batons," Mats Pettersson argued. "Most people we talked to said they need batons to protect themselves and don't intend to use them for criminal activities," Mats Pettersson continued.
In addition to batons, seizures of stun guns have increased significantly this year. Between January and September, the Swedish Customs have reportedly confiscated 713 stun guns, as opposed to only 69 in 2014.
Whereas the Swedish authorities refused to speculate on the reasons why law-abiding Swedes have decided to arm themselves, the mass acquisition of illegal weapons seems to coincide with a surge in crime that hit urban areas across the country.