Police to complete criminal investigation into massive drug smuggling

Publication date 28.3.2023 8.19
News item

The Central Finland Police Department and the National Bureau of Investigation have investigated suspected aggravated narcotics offences involving drug smuggling and distribution from the Netherlands to Finland. It is suspected that several dozen kilos of drugs were smuggled into Finland last year by a criminal organisation.

A photo taken from a police search showing bags of white powder stacked in a freezer.
Amphetamine found and seized during a search of premises. Photo: Police

The police opened a criminal investigation into suspected aggravated narcotics offences after officers on duty in Tampere apprehended a person found in possession of narcotic drugs in July 2022. It was established during the investigation that a Dutch criminal organisation smuggled drugs into Finland.

The Central Finland Police have investigated the distribution of the drugs in Finland, and the National Bureau of Investigation has investigated the international connections of the case with the Dutch Police.

– We opened the criminal investigation after a taxi driver called the Emergency Response Centre to report that a customer had fallen asleep in the taxi and the driver could not wake the customer to get payment for the ride. A police patrol arrived at the scene and found the person who had fallen asleep in the taxi in possession of around half a kilo of amphetamine, and we started to investigate the origin of the drugs, says Head of Investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Ari Luoto of the Central Finland Police Department.

The police identified the person who had sold the drugs to the customer who had fallen asleep in the taxi as well as the Dutch man who had supplied the drugs. The police arrested the Dutch suspect in Vantaa in September 2022 and seized in the flat he occupied around 13 kilos of amphetamine, 2 kilos of cocaine, 8,500 pills containing amphetamine, and 50,000 euros of cash.

A criminal group suspected of having organised four drug deliveries to Finland

The police suspect that the drugs were transported from the Netherlands to Finland and distributed in the country by a Dutch criminal organisation during four different smuggling operations between May and August 2022. The criminal investigation has established that the suspects smuggled into Finland about 59 kilos of amphetamine, 7 kilos of cocaine, 78,000 ecstasy pills and 13,000 pills containing amphetamine hidden in air compressors. 

The police also suspect that the same criminal organisation sold the drugs in Finland.

– We believe that the drug smuggling ring acted in a methodical, professional and organised manner. They sent their men to Finland for long periods of time to receive the drug deliveries from the Netherlands. These Dutch were also responsible for the storage of the drugs, and their distribution to buyers in Finland. We believe that the cash gained from this drug trafficking was transported from Finland to the Netherlands by a cash courier, says Head of Investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Hans Fagerström of the National Bureau of Investigation.

– The criminal investigation shows that the drugs were sold to buyers in Finland by means of instant messaging applications and that the marketing between the buyers was run from the Netherlands. It was also discovered during the investigation why Finland had been selected as the target country for selling drugs. The criminal organisation considered that, unlike in the Netherlands, they could still make a good profit in Finland and that it would be fairly safe to sell drugs in the country, says Head of Investigation Ari Luoto.

According to information available to the police, the criminal organisation was to send a fifth drug delivery to Finland at the end of August or beginning of September 2022, but this operation was cancelled as, in September 2022, the police arrested the member of the organisation who was responsible for receiving and distributing the drugs in Finland.

Drugs, cash and GPS devices seized by police

Besides the drugs and cash seized in Vantaa, the police have also seized GPS tracking devices that the criminal organisation is believed to have used for monitoring the drug deliveries and their member sent to Finland. The police believe that the criminal proceeds that the Dutch criminal organisation has gained from said drug trafficking amount to around 663,000 euros.

A total of eleven persons are suspected of aggravated narcotics offences in the case concerned. Some of them have been arrested in the Netherlands under the European arrest warrants issued by Finland, but they have not yet been surrendered to Finland.

The police will complete the criminal investigation at the end of March or beginning of April and forward the case to the Prosecution District of Western Finland for consideration of charges. 


  1. The police suspect that the drugs were smuggled into Finland hidden in air compressors. The compressors had a hole welded on them and they had been repainted for transport. The suspects sent photos of the different stages of transport to each other. Photo: Police
  2. Photos of drugs sent by suspects Photo: Police
  3.  A photo found in a suspect’s phone of a suspected drug delivery to Finland Photo: Police
  4. The police believe that the criminal proceeds were transported to the Netherlands in cash by a cash courier hired by the criminal organisation. The photos attached to the messages sent between the suspects show cash packed in foil for transport. Photo: Police
  5. Amphetamine found and seized during a search of premises. Photo: Police
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