The anonymous investigative police officer told Svenska Dagbladet he contacted Spotify in 2021 to discuss the matter but the company never returned his call. (AFP)News 

Criminal Activity in Sweden Involving Money Laundering Through Spotify Reported by Media

According to a Swedish newspaper, criminal gangs responsible for a rise in bombings and shootings in Sweden have been utilizing fabricated Spotify streams as a means to launder money.

For several years, criminal networks have used funds from drug deals, robberies, fraud and contract killings to pay for fake Spotify songs released by artists with gang ties, an investigative report by Svenska Dagbladet claimed.

They are then paid by the platform for a large number of streams, which launders the money.

The newspaper said that its information had been confirmed by four gang members from different criminal networks in Stockholm and an anonymous police investigator.

“I can say with 100 percent certainty that this will continue. I’ve been involved in it myself,” SvD quoted an anonymous gang member as saying.

He said his gang started using music streaming giant Spotify to launder money in 2019, around the time Swedish gangster rap became popular in the country and started winning music awards.

“We’ve paid people who have done this for us systematically,” he said.

Describing the process, he said the gangs would convert their dirty cash into bitcoins and then use the cryptocurrency to people who sold fake streams on Spotify, a Swedish company.

They “made sure we ended up at the top of the charts,” he said, adding that fake streams also led to an increase in real streams.

Higher streams lead to higher Spotify fees.

The newspaper reported that in Sweden, one million streams costs about 40,000 to 60,000 kroner ($3,600 to $5,400).

The unnamed investigating officer told Svenska Dagbladet that he contacted Spotify in 2021 to discuss the matter, but the company never returned his call.

“Spotify has become a banking machine for gangs. There is a direct link to gangs and deadly violence,” he told the magazine.

In 2022, 90 explosions and 101 attempted bombings or preparations for a bombing were registered in Sweden, as well as 391 shootings, of which 62 were killed, according to police data.

Spotify told AFP in a statement that manipulated streams were “an industry-wide challenge and Spotify has been working hard to address this issue.”

“Less than one percent of all streams on Spotify are found to be artificial and will be immediately reduced before payments,” it said.

The Swedish company said it was not aware of any contact by law enforcement and had found “no data or hard evidence to show that the platform is being used on a large scale as described.”

Related posts

Leave a Comment