41 sex buyers arrested in Stockholm prostitution sting

Dozens of people were arrested as part of a major crackdown on sex buyers in Stockholm.

41 sex buyers arrested in Stockholm prostitution sting
One of the brothels was found on the Götgatan street in Stockholm. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Police hit three different addresses in Stockholm a few weeks ago, including the Götgatan street on hipster island Södermalm, Swedish public radio news broadcaster Ekot reported on Tuesday morning.

A total of 41 men were held in the operation, according to Ekot.

The raids targeted temporary apartment brothels, which police say are becoming more common.

“What was previously associated with prostitution, such as street prostitution, has been sharply reduced. The prostitution scene has moved indoors, to AirBnB apartments, hotels and the like,” Johan Christiansson, prostitution and human trafficking investigator at Sweden’s Gender Equality Agency, told Ekot.

Almost all the men were brought to court via a new fast-track system which means that a court hearing can be scheduled at the point of arrest, and a few are still being investigated by a prosecutor.

Last year around 50 men in Stockholm county were convicted of buying or attempting to buy sexual services.

Sweden became the first country in the world to criminalize buying sex, rather than selling sex, in 1999. Anyone found guilty of buying sex can be fined or sent to jail for up to a year.

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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.