Stefan Eriksson - Early Life

Early Life

Eriksson became known by the Swedish police as Tjock-Steffe ("Fat Steve") or as The Banker by the local mob in the city of Uppsala, some 60 km north of Stockholm. An auto body shop worker, he started his criminal career with thefts and a three-month prison term in 1981, followed in 1988 by another term of 3½ years for cocaine and arms-related convictions.

In the early 90s, Eriksson became the head of a group the Swedish press dubbed Uppsalamaffian (the "Uppsala mafia" or "Uppsala mob"), responsible for some high-profile violent crimes rarely seen in the country. Known as a playboy, he often showed off a 1,200 horsepower (890 kW), 63' Sea Ray offshore race boat, capable of 56 knots (64 mph; 104 km/h). He named it Snövit (Snow White), and docked it on a small river in downtown Uppsala. He was also seen driving a Mercedes SL with the license plate reading "GEO" (in Swedish pronounced similar to the Cuban slang llello for cocaine, used by Al Pacino in the 1983 movie Scarface.) With a legal front Kanoninkasso ("Cannon debt collectors"), the group collected debts using threats and violence. Establishing a reputation, they started to dress in expensive suits and hold "business meetings" in exclusive Stockholm hotels. Attempting to defraud the Swedish Bank Giro Central of 22 million kronor, Eriksson and Peter Uf, the other future executive of Gizmondo, were found guilty of fraud and counterfeiting. In 1993 and 1994, Eriksson was sentenced to ten years in prison, only to serve half his sentence. Court documents show Eriksson and a partner broke into a man's home, smashed his apartment and punched him repeatedly in the face, that Eriksson held a knife to the man's throat and threatened to cut off his fingers, and finally shoved a gun into the man's mouth. The Swedish police had great difficulties in finding people who dared to testify, and the head witness later survived two bomb attacks.

Read more about this topic:  Stefan Eriksson

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