Danish police deny foreign link in Copenhagen gang war
Danish police said Monday the bloody gang war that has tarnished the peaceful image of Copenhagen was not being orchestrated by Danish drug barons based in southern Spain.
"We do not believe that the war between gangs is orchestrated in Spain or anywhere else," chief investigator for organised crime with Danish police Kim Kliver told AFP.
"There is nothing backing up this theory. For us, the conflict is orchestrated in Denmark and is centred around the control of the drugs market."
Seven people have been killed and more than 60 injured since August 2008 in drug-related violence in the Danish capital.
According to a report in Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, based on information from a former drug dealer who is under police protection, the two rival gangs are financed and supplied by two kingpins based in Malaga.
One of the gangs is linked to the Hell's Angels, a motorbike gang suspected of trafficking drugs, and the other is a rising gang which recruits immigrants, according to the source, Kasper Vetter, who claimed to have met both leaders.
Innocent people have been caught in the middle of the turf war, which has included grenade attacks and shootings in broad daylight.
The violence peaked last autumn, and in recent months the number of incidents has reduced.
According to the newspaper, when in Malaga Vetter heard the leader of the Hell's Angels complain about increasing competition from the rival gang, low prices, and the fact that the streets of Copenhagen "were too calm".
Several weeks later a number of shootings were reported in Noerrebro, an immigrant area of the city which has been the epicentre of the violence, the newspaper reported.
"The testimony from one person has to be taken with much caution, and hurried conclusions must not be reached that do not stand up in a very complex conflict," Kliver said.
"We are still targeting the drug traffickers that supply the drugs market from abroad. But it is a pure hypothesis that they are pulling the strings of the gang war," Kliver added.
© 2010 AFP