Swedish Police Concerned Ukrainian War Weapons May End up in Hands of Local Gangs  

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Swedish police have expressed concern that weapons being used in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia may make their way to Sweden where they could fall into the hands of criminal gangs. Swedish police are growing concerned that weapons being used in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia may end up being smuggled out of the country by arms traffickers who may then sell those weapons on to the gangs operating in Sweden. “There is a high risk of flows of illegal weapons entering Sweden,” Swedish Inspector Gunnar Appelgren told public broadcaster Sveriges Radio this week. The broadcaster notes that many of the weapons in Sweden currently that are involved in the country’s surge in fatal shootings, have been trafficked from the Balkans and were used during the various Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. According to Inspector Appelgren, the risk of an outflow of weapons could come if there is a peace deal or a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict, claiming that weapons are less desired and criminal networks may want to sell them to make money instead. “A lot of automatic weapons came in, AK47s, Kalashnikovs. A number of years ago, hand grenades also entered these loads. It comes in transport in vehicles and buses,” Appelgren said and added, “If there are weapons, there is a market, and if there are conflicts, there is a need for weapons. And we have conflicts in Sweden.” Sweden accounts for one of the highest rates of fatal shootings in Europe, with a report published last year claiming that Sweden had the highest rate of deadly shootings in Europe overall and had seen a year-on-year rise in gun violence since 2013.

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