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18 July, 2024
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Sweden's gang war reaches Greece with key arrests

Greek authorities uncover money laundering and hideouts tied to Swedish drug trafficking conflict

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

In September 2023, Sweden was rocked by a surge of 12 murders linked to a violent gang war over drug trafficking in cities like Uppsala and Umeå. The conflict, involving the rival Foxtrot and Dalen gangs, prompted Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson to deploy the army to curb the violence. Today, new evidence reveals that Greece served not only as a hideout for key figures in this gang war but also as a hub for laundering money from arms and drug trades.

The wave of violence in Sweden began in 2022, recording 391 armed attacks. The Foxtrot gang, led by Kurdish-born Rawa Majid, also known as the "Kurdish Fox," and the Dalen gang, led by Greek-born Michael Tenesos, known as "Greken" ("Greek"), have been central to this conflict. The rivalry intensified over drug trade control in Sundsvall, leading to a series of bomb attacks and armed assaults in early 2023. The brutal murders of three teenagers found dismembered in the forest, were linked to the Foxtrot gang, signaling an escalation in the violence.

In response, the Swedish government called in the army and strengthened cooperation with Europol and EU member states' police forces. Amidst these efforts, the Greek Police, through the Property Crime Unit of the Attica Security Department, played a crucial role in identifying and apprehending key gang members.

Greek police, collaborating with their Swedish counterparts, tracked down 24-year-old Ildar G., a high-profile member of the Dalen gang, nicknamed "Scar." He was located in Greece and arrested on June 6 in Halkidiki. Ildar G. had been involved in attempted murder, kidnappings, and beatings, serving as the bodyguard for Dalen gang leader Mikael Tenesu.

Further investigations revealed that a 58-year-old Greek man, described as the Dalen gang's treasurer, had been traveling between Stockholm and Thessaloniki, laundering money through businesses in Greece. He was arrested in April at Stockholm airport. Surveillance also uncovered that the 58-year-old was in contact with the mother and sister of Ildar G., who were hiding in Greece.

On June 6, Greek police arrested Ildar G. in possession of a fake Austrian identity card, a Rolex watch, two mobile phones, a pistol, and 39 cartridges. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, with extradition proceedings underway for charges of illegal trafficking of weapons, homicide, and kidnapping.

Despite these arrests, both gang leaders, Rawa Majid and Mikael Tenesos, remain at large. Majid, arrested in Turkey in 2022, was released by Turkish authorities, and sensitive information about his activities was mysteriously leaked.

The cooperation between Greek and Swedish authorities continues as they tackle the complex challenges of gang violence and organized crime spreading across borders.

Cyprus  |  Europe  |  crime  |  Sweden  |  Greece

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