Finns accused of smuggling tonnes of Swedish snus across the border

Prosecutors believe the Finns had been running a snus smuggling ring for years.

Finns accused of smuggling tonnes of Swedish snus across the border
File photo of the moist tobacco snus. Photo: Erlend Aas/NTB scanpix/TT

Snus, moist oral tobacco snuff, has been banned from being sold anywhere in the EU since 1992, apart from in Sweden which negotiated an exemption to the ban when it joined the union in 1995.

Eight people are now suspected of having smuggled more than 12 tonnes of snus from Sweden to neighbouring Finland between 2016 and 2018, the Finnish customs authority said on Monday.

The main suspect is a Finnish man in his 50s who lives just across the border in Haparanda in Sweden. A younger person, also residing in Sweden, is suspected of having helped him.

The other suspects live near the Finnish capital and in Kajanaland in eastern Finland.

All eight are accused of smuggling and aggravated tax fraud.

Bringing small amounts of snus into Finland is allowed for private consumption. But according to prosecutors, the tobacco – in total 12,700 kilos – was bought in Swedish stores and transported in several cars to customers in the Kemi-Torneå area, then distributed further south in Finland.

The suspected smuggling ring was caught when customs officers stopped a van carrying 175 kilos of snus in Finland in April this year.

It is estimated that the main suspect made around 80,000 euros on the smuggling.

The case is to go before a Lapland court later this autumn.

OPINION: The disgusting Swedish habit that I just can't stand

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime