A major criminal investigation into large-scale drug trafficking from the Netherlands to Finland completed

19.1.2021 11.04
News item

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Southwestern Finland Police Department have finished a criminal investigation into large-scale trafficking of cocaine from the Netherlands to Finland and its further distribution in the Turku and Helsinki regions.

The police tracked down the drug trafficking organisation in early summer 2020. On the basis of information provided by the police, the Border Guard profiled two Dutch men as possible drug couriers. 

The police established that these suspects were staying in two rooms at a hotel in the Helsinki city centre and conducted a search in the rooms. They seized 380 grams of cocaine during the search. The suspects were apprehended with the assistance of the Helsinki Police Department. They had smuggled the drugs into Finland in body packs. 

– Smuggling drugs in body cavities is a dangerous modus operandi. If the drugs get into your system, you will most probably die, says Head of Investigation, Senior Detective Superintendent Aki Lahtinen of the NBI.

The cocaine seizure triggered a major criminal investigation. The police revealed four other drug smuggling operations which had been committed previously in 2019–2020. The police also investigated the distribution of the drugs in the country and successfully intervened in the activities of two drug distribution rings in Turku and Helsinki. 

It is suspected on the basis of the criminal investigation that the Dutch suspects started to deal in drugs in the Turku region through an internet contact. They had also rented long-term storage facilities in the region. They were planning to extend their market to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and had signed, on the very day of their apprehension, a long-term rental agreement for storage facilities in Helsinki.  

The criminal investigation has established that around 2,100 grams of cocaine were smuggled into Finland during one year. Four suspects have been placed on remand for the case. Three of them are Dutch men who have reached the age of 20.  Five other persons were also arrested or apprehended during the investigation. The police seized around 400 grams of cocaine, around 35,000 euros in cash, and a small amount of amphetamine and other drugs, including several dozen pharmaceutical pills. The proceeds of crime gained by the perpetrators total around 225,000 – 250,000 euros.

– We maintained active and real-time international cooperation with the Dutch police and the Finnish and Dutch liaison officers at Europol to exchange information and prepare police operations in the case. In August 2020, for example, we participated in the searches of the Dutch suspects' homes which were conducted by the Dutch police in Utrecht, the Netherlands, says Head of Investigation Lahtinen.

In Finland, a narcotics offence involving smuggling of two kilos of cocaine is punishable by five to seven years' imprisonment. 

The case has been referred today on 19 January 2021 to the Prosecution District of Western Finland for consideration of charges. 

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