The murder of a drug dealer at the exit of his son's communion.
Bombs and shootings in broad daylight.
Hit men who kill at dawn and escape by bicycle.
Weapons of war and kidnappings.
A whitewash plot with relatives of a mayor.
Fugitives, tons of dope.
On the Costa del Sol there are movie scenes with a common link: Sweden.
The criminal gangs of the Nordic country have moved their activity to this corner of the province of Malaga in the last five years and with them they have brought their extremely violent tactics.
They are feared for their coldness and ability to penetrate any sector of society.
Marbella is your logistics center.
"Sweden has a serious problem with organized crime," explains Manne Gerell, Professor of Criminology at the Swedish University of Malmö. The data reflects that it is one of the European countries with the most deaths in shootings, with more than 200 victims in the last five years. In 2020 the record was broken with 48 murders, the vast majority related to the dispute over the drug trafficking market. And why are they moving their war to Malaga? "They want to be closer to drug distributors because that gives more benefits," adds Gerell. Sources from the National Operations Department (NOA) of the Swedish police confirm this and add another reason: the popularity of Marbella in the Scandinavian country, where they envy its climate, luxury and quality of life.
Diamant Salihu, a journalist specializing in organized crime in Sweden, also highlights that criminals feel that in Spanish territory they can pay large amounts in cash without anyone asking about the origin of the money.
Talk about corruption.
"In Spain it is easier to live with a criminal record and spend money earned with crime," he says.
'The Swedes' fall, the most bloodthirsty band on the Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol, a lair for drug traffickers
Those who move to Spanish soil are mainly the leaders of criminal organizations. They travel to Malaga, but also to Barcelona, where the Civil Guard arrested two members of the Dödspatrullen gang in February 2019. On the Costa del Sol they maintain a precarious balance in which each group gets its share of the cake. Sometimes, however, there are problems. Businesses that do not come to fruition or overturns (robberies between organizations) that leave behind a trail of deaths. Kalashnikov assault rifle shootings are not unusual. And conflicts are resolved with murderers who are sold to the highest bidder and share characteristics: they are very young, especially violent and influenced by television series. "They imitate the movies, their idols are mobsters and they try to emulate them",Petra Stenkula, a police commissioner in the southern region of that country, explained in autumn 2018. There are not a few agents surprised by the great violence of some murders committed in the surroundings of Marbella. "They have come to empty a magazine on their victim and then finish it off with more shots at point-blank range," says one of them.
A review of police operations shows that on the Costa del Sol there have been more than a hundred arrests of members of gangs based in Sweden since 2018. Among the best known names is that of Amir Mekky, who is considered the author of two murders in Spain: that of David Ávila,
just outside the church where his son's communion had been celebrated in San Pedro Alcántara; and that of Sofian Mohamed, alias
in this case in his luxury villa in Estepona. Mekky ran a network of hitmen - known as Los Suecos - to which a score of deaths are imputed in Sweden.
The police forces are dedicated to the fight against these organizations. There are investigators from the Costa del Sol Drugs and Organized Crime Unit (Udyco), the Organized Crime Response Group (Greco) and the Specialized and Violent Crime Unit (Udev) or the group of fugitives. Also from the Civil Guard. “There are resources, but they are never enough,” says a Udyco Central official. Their objective is clear: that they do not settle. "If they do, they will bring everything: homicides, extortion, explosives," adds who acknowledges that this violence rarely reaches the population or is exercised against the police forces, but remains among the gangs themselves. Although he warns: "Everything can blow up any day."
The tentacles of some bands have spread in Marbella. There is a recent example: the arrest of the husband and stepson of the Marbella mayor, Ángeles Muñoz. They are the Swedes Lars Gunnar Broberg and Joakim Peter Broberg, whom the police associate with drug trafficking and money laundering. In the same operation, 71 people from a Swedish organization were arrested. Their work exemplifies why they chose the Costa del Sol. They first came to buy drugs. Later they expanded their business: they brought it from Morocco, stored it on the Malaga coast and transferred it to northern Europe. The benefit is enormous: a kilo of marijuana costs 1,500 euros in Andalusia and sells for 9,000 in the Nordic countries. Art, gold, and luxury homes allowed them to launder money."This organization highlights the incidence of Swedish crime in Spain," say police sources.