Suspect arrested for drone flights over royal castle in Sweden

drone sweden Drottningholm Palace

A man was arrested Monday on suspicion of having flown a drone over Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of Sweden’s royal family, near Stockholm.

According to local newspapers, the suspect, a Russian man in his 40s, claims he’s an ordinary tourist who was not aware that drone flying over the royal castle is prohibited. It should also be noted that with the exception of the royal family’s private quarters in the west wing, Drottningholm Palace is open to the public and continues to be a popular tourist attraction in Stockholm.

So it’s not really surprising that the man, who was arrested for the alleged violation of the Swedish “Protection Act,” was released later on Monday after a decision by prosecutors.

He will, however, continue to remain under investigation with Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency, Säpo, also looking into the case.

Drone scare in Sweden

The Scandinavian country is already investigating a series of reports of unknown drones flying across its protected regions earlier this year.

On January 14, multiple rogue drone flights were spotted over Sweden’s nuclear power plants, including one that provides 14% of the country’s total electricity output. Alarm bells were again set off on January 17 with more drones being spotted over not just nuclear sites but also the country’s parliament building and both the working palace and the private residence of Sweden’s monarch, King Carl XVI Gustaf. Drones were spotted earlier at Kiruna and Luleå airports, too.

It’s worth highlighting that these drone incidents come at a time of increased military alert in Sweden. The country’s military has recently started patrolling the main town on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increased tensions between NATO and Russia over the Russian military buildup near the borders of Ukraine.

Read more: Two men electrocuted while retrieving drone stuck in power lines

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