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Smuggled weapons give lower penalty: "Legislation is not really in sync"

2019-09-12T04:59:35.480Z

An almost unanimous politician wants to stop arms smuggling to Sweden. But if you are caught in the customs with a firearm, the minimum penalty is considerably lower than if you are arrested on the street, and this means that the Customs Agency has worse opportunities to investigate the crimes.



- The legislation is not really in sync with regard to smuggling. Today it is not a serious crime to bring a gun into the customs filter. If the police, on the other hand, take the person outside our filter, it is a serious weapon crime, and there is a pretty big difference that I would have liked to see tight, says Martin Petersson, head of border protection at the Customs Region South.

If the customs personnel find illegal weapons, then you have less opportunity to investigate the crime than if you are arrested by the police inland with the same weapon.

Serious arms crime leads to arrest

If you are caught in a public place with a firearm with a firearm, it is regarded as a serious weapon crime. In January last year, the minimum sentence was sharpened to two years, which means that the penalty value itself is sufficient as a reason for detention. It also gives the police access to tools such as secret interception of electronic communications. According to the government, the sharpening of penalties means that people who are seized with sharply loaded weapons should in principle always be arrested immediately while awaiting trial.

But if you are caught in the customs with a sharp weapon, the smuggling law applies - and it was not sharpened in the same way. The minimum penalty for serious smuggling is 6 months. Therefore, the Customs Administration may not use the same methods when investigating the crime, and it is not certain that the arrested person will be arrested.

"Risk of being arrested only"

Martin Petersson, Customs

Martin Petersson had wanted to see the same minimum punishment for arms smuggling as for weapons crime.

What made a difference?

- First of all, it would have been reason to be arrested and detained so that you can be detained, and then we remove that person from the street. The common man usually does not go around with a sharpened gun in the pants waistband, but you have a criminal connection. If we can remove such a person from the street, it is positive, he says.

- There is a risk that they will only be arrested and released after 72 hours or earlier. Then we have the secret coercive means, telephone tapping and the like. We cannot switch it on unless it is a minimum of two years in the penalty scale.

New smuggling team on referral

However, a tightening of the law is likely underway. A draft law is now out on referral, in which it is proposed that arms smuggling should be a new crime and that serious arms smuggling should receive a minimum penalty of two years. The reply must have been received by the Ministry of Justice no later than 31 October.

- Now there is a proposal to change the penalty for smuggling, which means that it will be at least two years in the penal scale. Then we will also be able to use so-called secret coercive means, so that will be a great advantage, ”says Lars Kristoffersson, head of the law enforcement unit at the Customs Administration.

Source: svt

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