Norwegian official sets Romania visit on Roma crimes in Oslo

OSLO, Norway, June 18 (UPI) -- A top Norwegian official says she will travel to Romania next week to find out why foreign aid to help improve conditions for the Roma people is not being used.

The announcement came as Oslo police said seven out of 10 people arrested on theft-related charges in the past year were from Romania, The Norway Post reported Tuesday.


The Norwegian government set aside $23.4 million last year to aid the Roma people in Romania. Thousands of Romanians are reported to travel to Oslo every summer to beg.

Grete Faremo, Norway's justice minister, said she will inquire during her trip why the Romanian government has not used the aid money to help the Roma, who are sometimes called gypsies.

Since August 2012, 171 Romanians have been convicted of crimes in Oslo and two neighboring cities, police say. More than 150 of the convictions were for theft, robbery or handling stolen goods.

Roar Kvassheim, who heads a theft investigation team at the Oslo Police Department, said well-dressed foreigners who work together committed most of the crimes.

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