Prosecution is approaching in Sweden’s largest environmental crime case – the scandal surrounding the waste management company Think Pink. In the center stands CEO Bella Nilsson.
In a new one documentary from TV4 Nyheterna story the picture of her path to becoming the “Queen of trash” that she calls herself is drawn.
In the 90s, Bella Nilsson made herself known as a stripper and club manager. She climbed the hierarchy of the so-called porn clubs on One Thousand and One Nights, Studio Anna and Tabu. Her paths crossed with the infamous Karl Serung and one of Sweden’s biggest gangsters, Mille Markovic.
In 1998, she showed her activities for Kalla fakta.
– Guests who come here simply want to be beaten. They sometimes pay 15,000 for the whole night. It sounds strange but they do it, you get to hit the guests, she said, laughing and showing off a whip.
Bella Nilsson, who changed her name several times, was sentenced the same year to three and a half years in prison for accounting offenses for the activities of one of the clubs. In Nyhetsmorgon, she talked about her plans after her prison term.
– I have thought about studying. I haven’t decided, but if I study law, maybe I should apply for a job at the Ecocrime Authority, she said.
The idea: Recycle waste
Bella Nilsson would return to the public in a new guise, now as a prized and celebrated entrepreneur, with her waste company Think Pink – with a promise to recycle construction waste.
In 2018, she was awarded Gazelle of the Year by Dagens industri. The following year, the company had a turnover of 129 million, made a profit of over nine and Bella Nilsson herself took a share dividend of almost 13 million kroner. But the path to all this money has been lined with suspected crimes.
Instead of recycling, the company is suspected of grinding down the garbage and letting the piles grow – many times larger than permitted, in a number of locations in Central Sweden. In addition, 10,000 tons of Think Pink garbage are suspected to have been buried in the ground in several locations.
Pictures from the trash fire in Kagghamra in Botkyrka made Think Pink nationally known in 2020. It burned for months and the smoke spread as much particles as all of Stockholm’s traffic for an entire year. The residents were worried about their own health, for animals, land, plants and water.
A few months earlier, in August 2020, the police had already arrested Bella Nilsson and searched the villa south of Stockholm. Now the profile – which called itself “Queen of trash” – is a suspect in the largest environmental crime investigation Sweden has ever seen.
The police investigation has been ongoing for three years and has grown into the country’s largest of its kind. The suspicions against her include serious environmental crime.
In TV4 Nyheternas’ review Queen of trash, the sex clubs, the garbage and the crimes, the story of Nilsson’s crooked road to success is told – and of the enormous environmental scandal she is suspected of being responsible for.
Prosecutors are expected to make a decision on charges in November. Only after any charges have been brought will the case be tried in court. Bella Nilsson and others involved deny any crime.
Lawyer Jan Tibbling has responded in writing to TV4 News’ questions:
How does Bella Nilsson react to the suspicion of serious environmental crime?
“She denies all suspicions. She has handled construction waste with permission and under supervision and according to law.”
How does Bella Nilsson view accusations that waste has been buried as land fill?
“Bella Nilsson denies that the company has buried any waste.”
How does she react to the suspicion of gross accounting fraud?
“Bella Nilsson denies wrongdoing. The investigation into that crime is at a relatively early stage, which is why it is difficult to respond more closely. Furthermore, pre-trial confidentiality applies.”
What do you think about the investigation process and the time it took?
“It is inexplicable that the investigation took so long and it can be stated that the investigation is not robust either and we have therefore requested extensive additions.”
How does Bella Nilsson react to the authorities’ assessments that waste has been stored and left behind that exceeds the conditions of the business?
“The claims are refuted.“
How does Bella Nilsson view the analyzes that showed environmental toxins?
“Bella Nilsson has neither handled nor delivered any material that contains environmental toxins. The handling of that waste has taken place under supervision and with a permit, but on land that was old industrial land or that may otherwise have been contaminated in the past. The closer investigation and trial will clarify this. In addition, all the tests were carried out after she was arrested and thus lost control of the land.”
How does she view the fact that several people experienced the company’s actions as threatening?
“Bella Nilsson does not recognize herself in that description.”
TV4 News story
The environmental crime investigation into Think Pink is Sweden’s largest. Now it is depicted how the company’s CEO Bella Nilsson went from sex club manager to “Queen of trash”.