Weekly Crime Prevention and Enforcement Report 11th June 2020

Olof Palme murder: Sweden believes it knows who killed PM in 1986

Swedish prosecutors have named the man who they say killed former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, ending years of mystery.

They said it was Stig Engstrom, a graphic designer known as “Skandia Man” who killed himself in 2000. As a result they were closing the investigation into Palme’s death, Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson said.

Palme was shot in the back as he walked home from the cinema with his wife in Stockholm.

He had already dismissed his security team for the day. The assassination took place on Sweden’s busiest road, Sveavagen, and more than a dozen witnesses saw a man fire the shots before fleeing the scene.

Palme’s son Marten told Swedish radio that he believed prosecutors had reached the right conclusion and were right to close the case.

“However, it was of course a bit disappointing that they didn’t have more conclusive evidence, like DNA or a weapon that they could trace to the crime,” he told the BBC.

Thousands of people have been interviewed over Palme’s death. A petty criminal was convicted of the killing but the verdict was later dismissed.

 

Year-long global investigation focused on a dark net site known as ‘Babyheart’ and its administrator, ‘Twinkle’.

The Portuguese Judicial Police have hosted a media event to show how international cooperation led to the arrest of two men who sexually abused children.

The event, hosted at the Portuguese Judicial Police Headquarters in Lisbon included INTERPOL, Europol and US ICE, each of which had an important part to play in the events leading up to the arrest of the offenders in 2017.

Those events were the culmination of a year-long global investigation by various police agencies into the child abuse dark net site known as ‘Babyheart’ and its administrator, known as ‘Twinkle’.

Working collaboratively and using the secure information exchange systems provided by Interpol and Europol, investigators from different agencies including US ICE, Austrian Bundeskriminalamt, French Gendarmerie, Italian Polizia di Communicazioni,  UK National Crime Agency and West Midlands Police, Australian Federal Police and Queensland TaskForce Argos, Canada’s Toronto Police Service and the Brazilian Federal Police gathered intelligence.

That intelligence pointed at the user Twinkle being the administrator of the ‘Babyheart’ dark net site who sexually abused children and posted images of that abuse on the site. However, he was using the anonymity of the TOR network to protect himself against the efforts of investigators.

He further claimed to be using advanced methods of encryption and counter-surveillance to ensure that he would not be detected or prosecuted by law enforcement. He gave limited details as to his actual identity and made finding himself more difficult for investigators by providing misleading information in online posts, messages and through the child abuse material he claimed to have produced.

Careful analysis of the intelligence provided by all the law enforcement agencies involved, including pictures and video files led to a breakthrough. The location of the suspect was then narrowed down to Portugal.

The Portuguese Judicial Police took control of the investigation and engaged with the prosecutor’s office. Further criminal intelligence analysis by experts at INTERPOL, Europol, and US ICE led to significant new information about the suspect and the victims that he was believed to be abusing.

Thanks to this cooperation the suspect was arrested and charged. His electronic devices were seized and examined, leading to the identification of seven victims directly related to him.

Commenting on the case, Valdecy Urquiza, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities unit, said: “This case required input and support from so many different stakeholders – it was a textbook example of how international collaboration can put harmful individuals behind bars. We look forward to building on this experience in order to protect more children from sexual abuse.”

 

Cultivation of industrial hemp controlled by IFAP, GNR and PSP

The cultivation of hemp, (‘cannabis sativa’) for industrial purposes, including food, will now be controlled by the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Institute, Judiciary Police, Republican National Guard and Public Security Police.

According to a draft regulatory decree to which Lusa had access, “in the case of growing hemp for industrial purposes, including for food or animal use or the manufacture of compound feed or food, from the varieties of cannabis sativa to production of fibres and seeds not intended for sowing, the control functions are carried out by the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Institute [IFAP], together with the Judiciary Police [PJ], the Republican National Guard [GNR] and the Public Security Police [PSP] ”.

This issue will be the fifth amendment to regulatory decree No. 61/94 of 12 October, which establishes rules regarding the control of the lawful market for narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and other chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of drugs.

In turn, authorization for the cultivation of industrial hemp will have to be requested from the Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV).

The fees for authorization requests are set at three thousand euros for the cultivation, production or wholesale trade of plant species for medical or research purposes, 1,200 euros for import or export and for transit thousand euros.

The changes and maintenance of these authorizations imply the payment of one thousand euros, while the fees for the cultivation of industrial hemp are fixed at 50 euros, plus, when applicable, “the cost of laboratory control analyses”.

The application of fines and sanctions for the use of authorization for a purpose other than that established is the responsibility of Infarmed – National Authority for Medicines and Health Products, excluding those resulting from competences attributed to DGAV.

 

Prisoner released under an exceptional regime rearrested.

A 21-year-old man recently released under the exceptional sentence easing regime, due to the covid-19 pandemic, was rearrested on Wednesday 10th June in Lisbon on suspicion of theft, the PSP announced.

“The suspect, was recently released under the exceptional regime of easing the execution of sentences, following the pandemic situation,” said the PSP, reported that the young man was detained in the parish of Penha de França, following a complaint of theft, “with violence”, in which the victim, a 25-year-old man, had his wallet taken, after being asked for a cigarette.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Command of Lisbon of the PSP reported that, in addition to this occurrence, the suspect was detained “twice for crimes of the same nature” in the last 12 months, verifying that in both situations the penalty of preventive detention was issued.

When he was released 3 years and 9 months early of an effective prison sentence due to the covid-19 pandemic, , “after having proven 12 crimes of theft, some of them qualified,” referred the PSP, adding that, after being presented to the court for the first interrogation of the detained accused, he was once again placed back in custody.

The exceptional regime for the release of prisoners, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, allowed about 1,900 prisoners to be released.

This regime allows the granting of a partial pardon of sentences of up to two years, defines a special pardon regime, from which 14 detainees benefited, authorizes extraordinary administrative exits of prisoners and provides for the exceptional anticipation of probation.

 

Suspect involved in thefts from foreigners’ homes in the Algarve

A suspect has been detained concerning cases of several thefts, in Silves” and in other localities in the Algarve, namely between Monchique, Vila do Bispo, Aljezur” and also in the Alentejo

The GNR detained a man suspected of several thefts in the homes of foreign citizens, in the Algarve, taking advantage of the absence of owners in the countries of origin, due to the pandemic of covid-19.

The Criminal Investigation Nucleus (NIC) of Portimão of the Territorial Command of GNR in Faro detained “a 41 years old man, for several thefts, in Silves” and in other locations in the Algarve.

Following the police investigations, it was possible to gather “the evidence relating the suspect to six other thefts in residence, which occurred in the second half of May, between Monchique, Vila do Bispo, Aljezur” and in Alentejo, adds the GNR.

In the scope of the investigation, which “lasted for about a month”, in addition to identifying and detaining the alleged perpetrator of the thefts, GNR recovered (and seized) “more than twenty tools linked to civil construction, several bottles of drink, and several GPS devices [acronym for global positioning system, satellite navigation system] ”.

A search was also carried out at the suspect’s residence, where various materials were seized, namely three shotguns and about 300 cartridges, three light vehicles, a motorhome, a motorcycle and a trailer, specifies the GNR.

The detainee, who has an existing criminal record, was presented to the Judicial Court of Portimão.

 

GNR seizes half a ton of sardines in Matosinhos

The GNR Matosinhos Coastal Control Detachment has announced the seizure of 508 kilos of sardines, with an estimated value of 3,082 euros, because the source of the fish is unknown.

In a statement released by the GNR a spokesperson stated that “Although the capture of sardines has been allowed in Portugal since June 1, due to the fact that the origin of the fish is unknown, an administrative offense was prepared for lack of traceability, an infraction punished with a minimum fine of 250 euros and a maximum of 25 thousand euros”, explains the GNR, in a statement.

This seizure occurred on Tuesday 10th June, during an inspection of the grounds of the fishing port of Matosinhos and the surrounding area.

The GNR officers detected the fish in boxes but were unable to determine the ownership of the fish.

The seized fish was subjected to hygienic verification and donated to institutions of social solidarity in the North region.

Since the commercialization of sardines “it has become a resource of interest for Portuguese fishing, for the canning industry and for the export of fishery and sea products”, GNR defends that “the resource must not be exploited in order to guarantee, in the long term, the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the fish, within a precautionary approach, defined based on the available scientific data, while trying to ensure the fishing income to its professionals”.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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