Correlation is obviously not causation. That said, the suspicious series of events surrounding the arrest of Gottfrid Svartholm, one of the founders of popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, does give room to speculation. After his arrest, Sweden wanted to deport the man from Cambodia, but there’s no standing extradition treaty between the two countries. The two apparently came to some kind of agreement, as Cambodia has since agreed to deport Svartholm. Fresh on the heels of this news, it’s been announced that Sweden will provide a $59 million aid package to Cambodia for “causes of democratic development, human rights, education, and climate change for two years.”
The likelihood of these events occurring one right after the other is almost too perfect to be coincidental, but there’s really no way to prove that this package is a direct result of Svartholm’s arrest. The fact remains that a target Sweden wanted deported from Cambodia will soon be, and Cambodia will be getting a nice chunk of change from Sweden.
In response to the two-year grant, the Cambodian deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon spoke of Cambodia’s regard for Sweden. “Cambodia considers Sweden as a highly valued development partner,” he said, according to Xinhua, “and we will make every best effort to ensure that the aid be utilized effectively in an efficient and transparent manner.” $59 million might be a small chunk of change for a national government, but it’s still enough to have an impact on the country.
Where exactly Svartholm will end up isn’t clear. Though he will definitely be deported, even Cambodia doesn’t seem to be sure of his destination. That surely bodes well for the erstwhile pirate. In the meantime, conspiracy theories will continue to propagate and flourish.
- Svartholm’s arrest was almost inevitable
- Pirate Bay damages will not trickle down to artists
- A Swedish man survived being trapped in a car for months by hibernating like a bear