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Andreas Oscarsson Murder update
11/24/09 - The August 3rd murder in Sweden of 36-year-old founder of Pokerlistings, Andreas Oscarsson has surfaced again, this time with more details.
Currently being widely discussed on Internet poker portals, message boards and blogs, the latest news appears to be a mix of Swedish media reports last week from Sveriges Radio, together with earlier articles from Aftonbladet, and raises the possibility that Oscarsson was killed to prevent him giving evidence in a Swedish blackmail case.
In a trial that is due to commence in Stockholm this week, an unidentified 44-year-old man will be charged with a 'serious blackmail (extortion) offence', reports Sveriges Radio, noting that Oscarsson was a witness due to give evidence in the man's trial. The report quotes police comments that the motive for Oscarsson's murder was to prevent him testifying.
Earlier Aftonbladet newspaper reports linked this extortion case with a Swedish company owned by wealthy Swedish businessman Stefan Bengtsson (37) who's company was reportedly an investor in Oscarsson's company six years ago. The advent of draconian anti-online gambling measures in the United States in 2006 apparently damaged the value of the investment when Bengtsson's company wanted to offload its interest.
The Aftonbladet report links the 44-year-old indicted on the blackmail charge with subsequent attempts to redress the investing company's loss, although it emphasises that Stefan Bengtsson himself is not suspected of any crime, and has renounced all claims against Oscarsson's company. Bengtsson has apparently been cooperative with the police in their investigations.
Oscarsson was killed by several bullet wounds whilst he lay asleep next to his young son in a one storey villa occupied by his father, who found his son's body the next day. To date, there have been no arrests in connection with the murder, which many at the time speculated was a contract killing.
Intriguingly, a few months prior to Oscarsson's murder, his namesake - another Andreas Oscarsson - was shot to death in the same town. Apparently the police have concluded that this murder was a case of mistaken identity.
The extortion trial is sure to generate headlines in Sweden, involving as it does additional allegations that the 44-year-old accused enlisted the aid of a past Swedish Hell's Angels president in his attempts to recover monies from Oscarsson's representatives, and claims that one of Oscarsson's financial advisers was ambushed, shot and wounded in the leg around this time - a crime for which two men were subsequently arrested.
There are also claims that the man currently facing the blackmail charge made 'many threats, both by SMS and phone calls to the adviser.'
Aftonbladet reported that the blackmailer had told its reporter that he was acting on behalf of Stefan Bengtsson's business and that he would be given a share of whatever money he managed to recover. However, Stefan Bengtsson and his companions, who were interrogated by the police, emphatically denied the allegations and distanced themselves from the accused.
"I do not comment on the investigation, but of course we had nothing to do with blackmail," Stefan Bengtsson told Aftonbladet. The businessman also issued a statement renouncing all claims against Oscarsson's poker company.
The Aftonbladet report also emphasises that noone employed or involved in Bengtsson's company is suspected of any crime.
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