A look at Norway’s Pakistani gangs

PAKISTAN-–-ISI-500x227Oslo is home to two infamous gangs whose members are mainly Pakistani Norwegians. They are known as the A gang and B gang or A-Gjengen and B-Gjengen. According to an article in Pakistan’s Daily Times, both gangs are run by criminals within Oslo’s immigrant Pakistani community.In 2006, tension between the Pakistani-dominated gang Young Guns and B-Gjengen led to an open gun battle in broad daylight at Oslo’s popular Aker Brygge Complex on the waterfront. Many key gang members were arrested and others fled the country.
Tension remains high between Oslo’s rival gangs. Police are worried about more armed battles breaking out at any time, reports the daily.

The article, which is written by Fawad Kaiser, a professor of psychiatry in the United Kingdom, also noted that Oslo’s gang culture is becoming more complex and that battles are motivated by revenge, drugs and turf wars.

“The Pakistan youth are known for their gangs and indulgence in crime,” writes Kaiser, who is of Pakistani origin. “A few years ago, the Norwegian police uncovered a house outside Oslo where Arshad Mahmood, a Norwegian Pakistani, held and tortured members of a competing Morocco/Dutch gang, competing in the narcotics trade. He has now been deported under a new Norwegian criminal law. He was described as the purported leader of Oslo’s so-called A-gang.”

In 2008, Norway launched International Operation Nemesis, which targeted Pakistani gangs based in Oslo. The results of this operation, according to Kaiser, showed how host country social control institutions came into conflict with immigrant value systems to inflict shame on the ‘honour’ of immigrant criminals who have violated their own cultural/religious code.

Kaiser also noted that some Norwegian citizens of Pakistani origin are involved in criminal cases such as family feuds and property disputes in Pakistan.

“Since a number of these Norwegian citizens come from Gujrat, a modern crime scene unit was established with the help of the government of Norway to help the Gujrat police,” he writes. “Through the first phase of the programme, police officials, particularly in Gujrat, were involved in the training and capacity building of police officials on investigating crime scenes for better reporting but, unfortunately, vested political interests in Pakistan conveniently hampered this programme. There remains an urgent need to develop a mechanism to address criminal cases that are traced back to Pakistan.”

In closing, Kaiser calls on Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “seriously consider tackling this challenge of security, which remains a huge concern for the international community and our national prestige”.