Saturday December 02, 2023
Narcotics worth €120K smuggled to Åland from Sweden
Published : 15 Mar 2023, 00:24
Customs and the Police seized several kilograms of narcotics from persons who arrived in Åland from Sweden during autumn 2022, said Finnish Customs in a press release on Tuesday.
The street market value of the drugs is about 120 000 euros.
The smuggling took place several occasions and the authorities suspected link of other imported and distributed consignments of narcotics to the case, one of the most extensive and organised narcotics crime in the history of Åland.
In September 2022, the police and Customs officials stopped a person who arrived in Åland from Sweden at the Port of Eckerö.
Customs officers seized about 2.9 kilograms of hashish found in the vehicle. The importer who is from mainland Finland was detained on suspicion of an aggravated narcotics offence, and was released later.
Customs suspected that the consignment of narcotics was meant to be distributed in Åland.
“In late 2022, the preliminary investigation by Customs and the Police also uncovered three other occasions of import. In connection with those imports, authorities seized a large quantity of narcotics and medicine tablets classified as narcotic substances. Ultimately, the case turned out to be one of the most extensive and organised narcotics offence occurrences in Åland,” says Kimmo Kaunisto, lead investigator and senior customs officer.
In October 2022, customs officers at the Port of Långnäs carried out a customs control and seized about 50 grams of cocaine from a person who arrived from Sweden.
Based on its significant content, the quantity is equivalent to about 76 grams on the street market. Customs also seized about 2 000 Alprazolam narcotic medicine tablets from the said person.
The following seizure in the context of the case took place later in October at the Port of Mariehamn. Customs officers controlled a vehicle driven by a person who arrived from Sweden, and seized about 10 grams of cocaine from the person. Again, due to considerable content, the quantity is equivalent to about 15 grams on the street market.
The latest seizure in the context of the case took place later in December at the Port of Långnäs. Customs officers controlled a vehicle driven by a person who arrived from Sweden, and seized about 1 kilogram of hashish and 50 grams of cocaine from the person. The quantity is equivalent to about 75 grams on the street market.
In total, Customs and the Police seized about 3.9 kilograms of hashish, 110 grams of cocaine and 2 000 narcotic medicine tablets on separate occasions of import.
Nine persons are suspected of being linked to the case. Customs and the Police are investigating the case as a series of several aggravated narcotics offences.
The preliminary investigation by Customs and the Police uncovered several other occurrences of import and distribution of narcotics in addition to the already mentioned cases.
One of the couriers involved made two previous smuggling trips to Åland. The trips involved the import and subsequent distribution of 3 000 narcotic medicine tablets, an unknown quantity of hashish, and 100 grams of cocaine.
Due to its significant content, the amount of cocaine is equivalent to 155 grams on the street market. The preliminary investigation also revealed a case involving import and distribution of Rivotril narcotic medicine tablets which the authorities suspect took place in September.
“During the preliminary investigation, we found out that the seized consignments of narcotics were meant to end up with persons living in Åland. The criminal organisation operated so that couriers first picked up the narcotics from Sweden, and then the substances were distributed in Åland by a small circle of people. Seven of the suspects live in Åland, and two suspects live in mainland Finland. The seized and distributed narcotics correspond to more than 26 000 doses,” said chief inspector Tommy Thörnroos, the police investigator in charge of the case.
Moreover, the Police suspect one of the persons involved in the case of threatening a witness. The person in question is suspected of having made threats of violence against a co-suspect due to the latter’s statement in the preliminary investigation.
Several persons have been detained during the preliminary investigation of the case.
Two of the persons involved are still detained. During the preliminary investigation, Finnish Customs has cooperated with Swedish Customs and Police, among other authorities.
The preliminary investigation is concluded, and the matter has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office of Åland for consideration of charges.