Police bust international narcotics ring

A major international drug smuggling ring has been busted in an operation involving police in Norway and Sweden. More three quarters of a tonne of narcotics has been seized and 30 people are in detention in the two countries.

During the late summer of 2007 Police in Norway launched an investigation to bust open the narcotics network.

“We noticed that several people had bought quantities of hash and imported them into the country and we noted that these people had close contacts in Sweden,” said Reidar Brussgaard at Norway’s criminal investigation department to news agency TT.

In September of the same year police in Norway contacted their Swedish colleagues who began surveillance of the suspects on visits to Sweden. Swedish police were therefore able to witness the collection of a large quantity of hash from Solvalla outside of Stockholm. The Norwegian-registered car was later stopped at Norwegian customs and around 170 kilograms of cannabis was seized.

After the seizure the police operation, which Norwegian police had named “Happy fish”, continued and expanded to involve in police in the Netherlands.

Stefan Erlandsson at the Swedish National Investigation Department, explained that the international police cooperation had been crucial to cracking the network.

Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch and Moroccan citizens are among the suspects detained. Several of them have been in work and have on the surface, appeared to live regular lives.

Police now claim to have exposed several links of the network.

“We have got the whole chain and have managed to get at the principal figures,” Erlandsson said.

According to the police the narcotics have been smuggled from Morocco to Holland and then on to Sweden and Norway. The ring have used legal means to transport the goods, such as flower shipments used to conceal the drugs.

One drug seizure by Norwegian police also netted a number of weapons and a large sum of money.

“There was around six million Norwegian kronor ($862,000) in cash,” according to Reidar Bruusgaard.

He confirms that Swedish and Norwegian police have managed to seize around 700 kilograms of cannabis and around 50 kilograms of amphetamine. A quantity of cocaine has also been seized. There are currently 30 people in detention in Norway and Sweden.