A massive search and arrest operation in Spain – two persons suspected of drug trafficking to Finland

Publication date 17.5.2024 10.05
News item

Spanish law enforcement authorities carried out an operation in which two persons targeted by the Finnish Police were also arrested. Spain authorities released information about the operation earlier this week. This joint search and arrest operation between Spain, Finland, Sweden and Poland was coordinated by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and carried out in the regions of Barcelona and Malaga on Tuesday 23 April. Investigators of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation participated in the operation.

Over 30 persons were apprehended during the operation. They are suspected of organising drug trafficking to different countries in Europe. It is believed that the criminal group concerned supplied over 200 kilos of marijuana to Finland between August 2022 and November 2023.

The drugs were brought to the country in four deliveries, each with a different recipient, and taken to Kaarina, Kerava, Tuusula and Vantaa. The cases have been investigated as separate cases by the National Bureau of Investigation, Helsinki Police Department and Customs, and they are currently at different stages of the criminal process. In Finland, around 15 persons have already been convicted in the case. All the judgments are not yet final.

–  The cases were detected when a marijuana delivery was made to Kaarina in August 2022. After that the Finnish and Spanish law enforcement authorities started to work together and, in late 2022, they identified a criminal group operating in the region of Barcelona which supplied marijuana to different European countries, says Head of Investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Hans Fagerström of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Marijuana seized by the police. Photo: Police.
Marijuana seized by the police. Photo: Police.

In spring 2023, the Spanish authorities took over responsibility for the criminal investigation into the group operating in Barcelona. The Finnish authorities continued to investigate two suspects who are believed to be involved in the first marijuana delivery to Kaarina. These two suspects were also targeted by the operation carried out on Tuesday 23 April. 

– Cooperation with Spain and other countries has been excellent for these past eighteen months. The operation is a good example of international cooperation where there is a low threshold for sharing real-time operational information between different countries, says Fagerström. 

The National Bureau of Investigation will interview the suspects in the ongoing criminal investigation this spring.

Communication between suspects. Photo: Police.

Communication between suspects. Photo: Police.

News Offences and criminal investigation The National Bureau of Investigation