How criminals in Norway could exploit the war in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine and influx of refugees into Norway is a situation that criminals in Norway are likely to exploit in several ways, Norway’s serious crime agency warned Monday. 

Oslo during the evening.
Norway's serious crime agency has outlined how criminals may look to take advantage of the war in Ukraine. Pictured is Oslo during the evening. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash.

Norway’s serious crime agency, Økokrim, has warned of a number of ways in which criminals will look to take advantage of the war in Ukraine for their own gain. 

Criminals will look to exploit the refugee situation and the influx of asylum seekers into the country, public broadcaster NRK reports

The crime agency has previously warned that refugees would be highly likely to be vulnerable to human trafficking or sexual exploitation. 

READ MORE: Increased risk of Ukrainian refugees being exploited

However, this time it has also warned that refugees could be exploited into forced labour too. 

“It is especially (likely to occur) in sectors where there is a need for a lot of unskilled labour. The construction, the cleaning industry, and the transport business will especially see this,” Pål Lønseth, head of Økokrim, told public broadcaster NRK.

Norwegian companies that operate overseas or have international connections are now extra exposed to corruption due to supply shortages and trade routes being cut off, business and financial publication Dagens Nærlingsliv writes. 

“When there is a shortage of some resource, either a raw material, or for that matter a government permit, the risk of corruption increases,” Lønseth told the paper. 

The crime agency also warned that the food and energy supplies would be affected worldwide, leading to increased activity on the black market. 

“ It will be a concern that goods can be produced in such a way that does not satisfy the health requirements that we set for the foods sold in Norway,” Lønseth warned. 

Norwegian bank Nordea has also warned that fraud could increase as a result, but added that it hasn’t yet seen an increase linked to Ukraine. 

On Monday, Økokrim will publish its threat assessment for 2022. 

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Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Norwegian police will continue to be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, but the advice for Pride events nationwide to be postponed has been scrapped, the Police Directorate announced Wednesday. 

Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped 

Police in Norway will continue to be armed for the foreseeable future, the Norwegian Police Directorate announced yesterday. 

It was announced that police in Norway be armed following a mass shooting in Oslo, which left two dead and 21 injured last week

Yesterday, Norway’s domestic intelligence and counter-terrorism service, PST, lowered the terrorist threat level from extraordinary to high- the second-highest level. 

“The threat level in Norway has changed from extraordinary, to high, according to PST. The danger of follow-up actions or inspired attacks means that the police will continue to be temporarily armed,” the Police Directorate wrote on its website

The police said that PST had widened the threat picture from LGBT groups to other broader targets. 

“PST maintains that LGBTQI + is still included in the target picture, but also people and events that are perceived to offend Islam, religious gatherings and uniformed personnel from the police and defence,” the police said on its website. 

Police also dropped the advice that Pride and LGBT events across the country be postponed. The recommendation was implemented due to a fear of copycat attacks from PST. 

Decisions on whether it was safe for events to go ahead would be made by local authorities going forward. 

“A national recommendation to postpone Pride events expires. The police districts will themselves make risk assessments related to individual events and handling of large crowds based on the overall threat picture and local conditions,” police director Benedicte Bjørnland said.