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CRIME

Swedish rapper Yasin jailed over conspiracy to kidnap rival artist

A Swedish district court on Wednesday jailed rapper Yasin for conspiring to kidnap a rival artist.

Swedish rapper Yasin jailed over conspiracy to kidnap rival artist
A court sketch of rap artist Yasin Mahamoud and his lawyer. Photo: Johan Hallnäs/TT

Yasin Mahamoud was detained on New Year’s Eve for his involvement in the March 2020 kidnapping. He was jailed for 10 months on Wednesday.

He was named Artist of the Year and Hiphop/RnB Artist of the Year at the P3 Guldgalan awards earlier this year organised by Swedish public radio.

According to Wednesday’s verdict, Yasin planned to meet his victim at a recording studio and then lure him into a car in central Stockholm. He denied the charges.

The prosecution said that Yasin “received information, passed on information and had given orders and instructions on how and when” the
kidnapping should be carried out.

The planned kidnapping was ultimately aborted that weekend. The victim was, however, kidnapped several weeks later, but without Yasin’s involvement.

The victim was beaten, robbed, photographed in humiliating conditions and blackmailed, according to prosecutors.

The pictures were leaked on social media several weeks later when the victim refused to pay.

Most of the evidence in the case consisted of chat messages on the encrypted Encrochat service.

The Yasin case was part of a broader one involving 30 suspects in a criminal network accused of a variety of crimes.

On Wednesday, Chihab Lamouri, the leader of the network was sentenced to 17 years and 10 months in prison, while 26 others were sentenced for “serious criminal activity, committed within the network or connected to networked crime during the spring of 2020”.

Among them was another rapper, Haval Khalil, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for complicity in kidnapping and robbery of the same artist targeted by Yasin.

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CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

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