Tuesday, 22 January 2008


I think I’ve already commented on the irony of Sweden producing so many renowned crime writers when Swedish society has such low crime. But today Gothenburg witnessed an event that could not only have come straight from a Martin Beck novel, but wouldn’t be out of place in the next Die Hard film.

Last night at around 1am masked men with rifles raided the main Post Office building. As they fled the scene they set alight to nearby cars, and scattered the road with metal spikes designed to puncture car tyres. They also left a series of suspected bombs (see picture below) around the post office and nearby police station. As far as I know it has yet to be confirmed whether these packages really were bombs. I do admire the robbers’ consideration by not only labelling their bombs accordingly, but also labelling them in English so even a migrant like myself would understand. I also admire the audacity and planning put into such a heist. But than again I also wonder why they wasted such a scheme on robbing a post office rather than say…a bank.

On discovery of these ‘bombs’ the local streets were cordoned off and evacuated. The bomb disposal experts were called in, but like most Swedish workers they were in no hurry and didn’t get there until 7am. No doubt they stopped for a coffee break at 7.30am. By 9.15am I was making my way to work and my tram was diverted so as not to pass the Post Office. One of my work colleagues who lived closer to the bomb scene wasn’t allowed to leave her flat until 12.30.

I’ve been trying to follow what coverage I can in the local media with my limited Swedish, as there is still a lot I don’t know. I’ve tried looking for articles in the international media but I haven’t found a single mention. In fact if you google the words ‘Gothenburg’ and ‘bomb’ you’re far more likely to get articles like this: articles about a suspected bomb found in a skip in Gothenburg last week which ended up being a vibrating dildo. This really says a lot for the standards of world journalism.

Still, twice in one week streets in Gothenburg have been cordoned off and bomb disposal experts called in. With the exception of maybe Baghdad there can’t be too many cities in the world that can claim a statistic like that.

UPDATE: It probably comes as no surprise that the "bombs" really were just suitcases with the word "bomb" painted on the side. It has also since been confirmed that nothing of significant value was pinched from the post office during the burglary.


easy. said...

who needs 'the italian job' styled bomb plots to get international media attention, when you've got Corey's party in narrewarren to put Melbourne on the map?

Mikael said...

Do I dare to move back home to Gothenburg again from sunny California?

Anonymous said...

Bomb is bomb in Swedish as well, they marked the suitcases in swedish.