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OFFBEAT

Beggar in wheelchair got up for a stroll

Taking a break from begging for money to buy a battery for his wheelchair, a man whose pockets were loaded with cash astonished onlookers by getting up for a walk on Wednesday in Haugesund, south-western Norway.

Beggar in wheelchair got up for a stroll
Photo: Adriaan de Man (File)

Armed with a sign that explained his supposed predicament, the man in his late forties actively hassled pedestrians in the centre of town.

But passers-by were furious to discover he had faked his disability.

“When he didn’t have customers he was getting out of the wheelchair and walking around, and a lot of people reacted to that,” said Haugeland police officer Jarle Utne-Reitan.

“People want to contribute to those in difficulties, but this man was clearly undeserving of such support.”

Police said they knew the man, who originally came from another country but had lived in Norway for 20 years.  

“We don’t know this man as a wheelchair user,” said Utne-Reitan.

Nor was the fraudster in dire need of cash: police officers found 10,000 kroner ($1,600) in cash in his pockets.

After he was rumbled the man walked free, as police took no further action other than to usher him out of the town centre.

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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