Swedish authorities claim that organised criminal gangs are actively recruiting newly arrived asylum seekers and using them to commit money laundering and other types of fraud.
By – Chris Tomlinson
Swedish investigators say that they had suspected Arab gangs would attempt to recruit newly arrived asylum seekers to aid in financial crimes but that only recently had they seen concrete evidence of recruitment, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
Henrik Lundin, who is employed at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, said that while authorities see evidence of the practice they are not completely clear how prevalent it has become.
“What we can see is that they have used the identity of refugees in some cases for different types of economic crime. It is simply that their identities are used to open accounts, money laundering and so on,” Lundin said and added, “But how extensive? It is too early to say.”
Patrik Lillqvist, superintendent at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority added that the asylum seekers are used as “fall guys” with many of them not even realising the situation they were being placed in by organised gangs.
“Like all other patsies, those who are tricked into it, they have poor knowledge. They do not know something is wrong,” he said and added many are lead to think, “This is not dangerous. You only earn money. You’re not doing anything.”
“You lend your identity, then you do nothing more and have no idea what happens with your own personal information and bank accounts. You do not realize the consequences that you may be suspected of crimes. You are being fooled,” he added.
Asylum seekers have been employed by organised criminals in other countries like Germany where many sell drugs for easy money.
Andreas Meyer, a former employee at one of Berlin’s migrant centres claimed that the city’s Arab Clan gangs would pull up to homes in limousines and recruit asylum seekers and give them various kinds of drugs to sell.
Asylum seekers have even taken over the drug trade in some areas of Germany like the region of Schleswig-Holstein where police claim that newly arrived migrants were using violence to push others out.
Read more: From 2017/09/06