Criminal clans are spreading across Sweden and as of today number several dozen, Deputy National Police Chief Mats Löfving has warned, stressing that these networks seek a role in public governance.
The clans have admittedly established themselves in several Swedish cities.
"Right now we have at least 40 family-based criminal networks in Sweden, so-called clans. They have come solely for the purpose of organised crime. They work to create power and have a great capacity for violence. They want to make money. This is done through drug crimes, violent crimes, and extortion. They get into business and politics. They want to play a role in public governance in a municipality or even in Sweden", Mats Löfving said in an interview with Swedish Radio.
By Löfving's own admission, this development is unique and is not to be seen in any of Sweden's peers.
"We do not find a corresponding country in Europe", Mats Löfving said, stressing that there is no "evidence-based explanation" for why things have gone this way.
However, he mused that Swedish politicians have a naïve attitude to integration, as not all immigrants who come to Sweden want to be part of society.
Löfving underscored that the criminal clans come to Sweden with the sole purpose of engaging in crime, and are very difficult to access because they are based on blood ties. Marriages are arranged to further strengthen the clan, he emphasised. The children are brought up in taking over the networks and never want to become part of Swedish society. Furthermore, the clans seek ways of influencing the political government in Sweden and are very dangerous, he assessed.
"We need a change in legislation that gives us greater opportunities to listen to encrypted phones", Mats Löfving stressed.
At present, Swedish police are allowed to eavesdrop on people suspected of a crime that could result in at least two years in prison. This must also be green-lit by the prosecution. According to the police, wiretapping people without a specific suspicion will allow them to better understand the criminals' reasoning and dealings.
Many Swedes, however, see this proposed measure as an encroachment upon their privacy and legal rights.
"First Sweden accepts large immigrant populations who show total disregard for freedom of speech. Then the crime rate among these immigrants is so explosive that Swedish Police demand mandatory eavesdropping on ALL citizens to fight gang violence. This is not going well, is it?", producer, musician, and thinker Alexander Bard tweeted.
First #Sweden accepts large immigrant populations who show total disregard for freedom of speech. Then the crime rate among these immigrants is so explosive that Swedish Police demand mandatory eavesdropping on ALL citizens to fight gang violence. This is not going well, is it?— Alexander Bard (@Bardissimo) September 5, 2020