Norway: Pakistani gang leader convicted
The man believed to be one of the Oslo area's most powerful gang leaders was sentenced this week to nine years of special custody and he effectively lost his house. He allegedly ran a virtual torture chamber in the basement of his home.
Arshad Mahmood, age 38, was sentenced to the special custody known as forvaring, which is designed to protect the public from the country's most dangerous criminals.
A court in Romerike, northeast of Oslo, also seized Mahmood's Mercedes and NOK 890,000, which means he also has to give up his house in Ullensaker, where police found several badly beaten hostages last autumn. The judge clearly didn't believe Arshad Mahmood's story that his hostages had threatened him.
Mahmood is the purported leader of Oslo's so-called "A-gang." He's been convicted numerous times for violence, assault and making threats. Psychiatrists claim he has a split personality, which makes it unproblematic for him to commit violent crimes while at the same time maintaining a seemingly normal family life.
His children, wife and relatives were inside the house at Ullensaker when it was raided by police last September, while the hostages were found chained in the makeshift torture chamber in its basement.
The relatively harsh sentence against Mahmood is seen as an important part of police efforts to crack down on gangs in Norway.
Man accused of torturing gang rivals
Medieval barbarism meets modern day thuggery
Clash of Civilizations Alert
Gangs: Norwegian vs. Dutch