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'Vodka-mobile' selling booze to Swedish kids

'Vodka-mobile' selling booze to Swedish kids

Published: 10 Feb 2012 16:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2012 16:47 GMT+01:00

Police in Stockholm are looking to beef up efforts to put the brakes on a “vodka-mobile” that delivers hard liquor to school children in the Swedish capital who place their orders via text message.

“It's a huge problem. 'Vodka-mobile' is a term all the young people know today,” Marc Gynning of the Stockholm police told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Gynning explained that kids call or send a text message to dealers who then call back from a mobile phone with a pay-as-you-go card to confirm the order and set up a meeting place.

“In just a few minutes they can sell vodka to ten or fifteen kids who pay cash,” he said.

“Those few times we've received tips about an ongoing deal, we never get there in time.”

Police suspect the black-market booze is purchased abroad and smuggled into Sweden.

Popular brands include premium vodka Magic Crystal, as well as cheaper brands such as Rachmaninoff, Jeltzin, Zaranoff and Danzka.

According to Gynning, police first became aware of the “vodka-mobile” last spring and believe the young customers come from all walks of life across Stockholm County.

“We think the contact number has been spread from to few to many, many young people. Vodka is in high demand among youth and the few that we catch have two or three numbers under the name 'vodka-mobile' in their phones,” he told DN.

Gynning said more resources are needed in order to put a stop to the “vodka-mobile”, adding he's concerned about the effects hard alcohol can have on Stockholm's youth.

“Binge drinking of hard liquor inevitably results in kids becoming drunk and out of control. That in turn increases violent criminality among guys and girls get so drunk that they become easy targets,” he said.

So far, however, the young buyers have been protective of their suppliers, much to the frustration of Stockholm police.

Successfully prosecuting the illegal selling of alcohol is especially difficult, often requiring several well-documented transactions.

“We have to be there ourselves when the goods are handed over. We have to see the crime with our own eyes,” said Gynning.

Despite months of increased surveillance, police in Stockholm have yet to carry out any significant busts of the “vodka-mobile”, said Gynning, explaining that it's hard to localize the vehicle or vehicles responisble for distributing the alcohol.

“We need a large, coordinated surveillance effort across all of Stockholm County,” he told the paper.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:24 February 10, 2012 by howoldareyou
Swedes have a lot to learn from the UK.

Haven't they heard of phone hacking yet?
18:02 February 10, 2012 by irridium
I wonder if they have Russian Standard :)
18:26 February 10, 2012 by Avin a go
Do they do house delivery to lazy old farts?
20:18 February 10, 2012 by BillyB
what a great business idea, very useful after systembolaget has closed

how do we contact them?
21:39 February 10, 2012 by Jorrs
I agree anyone have contact details ?
09:22 February 11, 2012 by zooeden
Police is sooo busy, it has to be a joke to be a frippin police in sweden!!! Since they have nothing to do that´s why they want to bug all mobiles so they know who to arrest.

Its a huge problem!!! Oh yeah, didnt they just have like 70 million kroner to invest against alcohol???

As long as they deliver my one liter johnnie walker whiskey I honestly dont care!
21:00 February 13, 2012 by bethrichardson
I'm confused. Why do they need city-wide surveilance? Get the numbers from the kids. If they don't want to give them up, lock them up and take away the game systems and cell phones till they do. It's not illegal or even immoral. They will still get food, clothing, shelter and access to medical care if they need it. They won't be abused, but they need to understand it's illegal on BOTH sides, not just the seller's side.
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