A Swedish politician has revealed to be the former chief of a biker gang, with convictions for drugs trafficking and weapons offenses.
Mikael Persson, who is a senior Sweden Democrat member in the Svenljunga municipality in western Sweden, was previously a member of the Boras chapter of the Bandidos, where he was known as The President.
He has spent years behind bars, with a total of 11 criminal convictions.
"On paper I look like a horrible person," the 42-year-old told Borås Tidning Daily.
After being nominated by the party, he claimed his place last week on the nine-person municipal executive committee, with the municipal council confirming the board members.
In 2002, he was sentenced to four and a half years in jail over serious drugs offenses. Attempted aggravated drugs trafficking, and weapons offences.
In 2010, he was sentenced to two years in jail for drugs offenses.
Persson claims to have seen the error of his ways whilst in jail, and to have renounced his criminal past.
"It was a turning point in my life, I felt falsely convicted," he told the paper.
'No regrets' over gang membership
He said there were two people who were behind the 2010 crime, but he was the one who took the flack.
"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he said.
He did not regret his time as a biker, and that "some" of the Sweden Democrat's national organisation were aware of his background.
Persson said that he had worked hard for the party since committing to politics, and that he had not been found guilty of any offenses automatically disqualifying him from holding office.
"I have helped to recruit members here, fought like a fool throughout the election campaign. According to the party members must not be convicted of any violent crime, racist crime, but I'm not," he said.
However, a fellow executive committee member said that she was unaware of her colleague's background.
"It's really damning. This I did not know at all," she said to the newspaper.
The Bandidos, one of the world's most notorious motorcycles gangs, were involved in the Great Nordic Biker War in the '90s, in which members battled rival Hells Angels using machine guns and bombs. Eleven people died during the three years the gang war lasted.
Last year, Europol warned that membership of criminal motorcycle gangs was on the rise throughout Europe, and a new turf war over drugs supply routes is likely.