• Sweden's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Record number of raids on Swedish drug farms

The Local · 22 Jul 2015, 12:02

Published: 22 Jul 2015 11:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2015 12:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Last week The Local reported that two men had been sent to prison after 570 cannabis plants – enough to produce around 31 kilogram of marijuana – were discovered at a disused school in Lysekil in western Sweden in a raid eight months ago.

And the incident is just one in a growing series of drugs hauls recovered in the Nordic country over the past decade.

In 2014 a total of 904 cannabis farms were reported to the police – more than quadruple the 211 reports officers received in 2004, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet, BRÅ).

“Large-scale production of cannabis has definitely increased and is expected to rise even further,” Torstein Norman, section head of the national police's intelligence department, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

He spoke as a number of suspects in the biggest cannabis case in Swedish history were facing sentencing later on Wednesday. Some 20 people involved in the court case are accused of having set up seven marijuana factories, hiring paperless refugees to run the farms.

DEBATE: Should Sweden make cannabis use legal?

Organized crime is believed to be behind most drug farms in Sweden. They are usually located in deserted houses in the Swedish countryside. But not always. Raids carried out by police also regularly discover wardrobes or basements converted into mini-greenhouses.

“The larger the farm, the more organization is required. But in some cases it may just be about pure entrepreneurial spirit,” Norman told DN.

However, illegal drugs are also flooding into Sweden from abroad, with 2,398 seizures of a total of 860 kilogram of marijuana and cannabis by Swedish Customs last year. The majority entered the country via the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark.

“On the Öresund Bridge alone we carry out on average seven seizures of narcotics in 24 hours. 90 percent of those are cannabis,” Håkan Hansson of Customs' border department in Malmö told DN.

Earlier this month Malmö police called for tougher border checks on the crossing that links the southern Swedish city to Copenhagen in a bid to clamp down on illegal weapons pouring into Sweden via the Danish capital.

Sweden has by and large a 'zero tolerance' approach to drugs, although calls for legalizing the drug are sometimes heard. The Nordic country criminalized illicit drug use in 1988, following a two-year attempt to introduce a more tolerant approach that was considered a failure by authorities.

Anyone suspected of being 'high' can be detained and given a compulsory urine test. If positive, they are slapped with a criminal charge and must stand trial.

According to figures released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) last year, only nine percent of the Swedish school population has tried cannabis, compared to 39 percent in France, 42 percent in the Czech Republic and around 25 percent in Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Today's headlines
Swedish Lucia advert sparks love and hate online
Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT

An advert for Sweden's Åhléns has unleashed a heated online debate after the department store chain unveiled a new campaign featuring a dark-skinned child, whose gender wasn't obvious to all, dressed as a Lucia.

IKEA founder Kamprad suffers broken hip
Photo: Thord Nilsson / TT file picture

Ninety-year-old IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has suffered from a broken hip, which temporarily resulted in him being hospitalised, but is now in good recovery, his assistant said on Sunday. He may have to skip the traditional IKEA Christmas celebrations in his native Älmhult though.

What are Swedish values? Many Swedes are unsure
Photo: Erik Johansen / TT

Although perhaps one of the hottest potatoes in the Swedish political debate right now, many Swedes still find it hard to pinpoint exactly what Swedish values are, a new study shows.

Swedes protest cutbacks in personal assistance budget
Demonstrations were held in 25 towns and cities across Sweden on Saturday. Photo: Janerik Hansson / TT

Thousands of people staged demonstrations across Sweden on Saturday to protest recent cutbacks in the budget funding personal assistance for people with disabilities.

Police launch manhunt after deadly Stockholm shooting
No suspects have yet been arrested over the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish police have launched a massive manhunt after masked gunmen barged into a Stockholm café and shot two people to death late on Friday.

Sweden has fourth happiest workers in the world: report
Is Swedish fika the secret? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden is home to the fourth happiest workers in the world, an international survey has claimed.

Here's how much Ikea staff are getting for Christmas
Christmas comes early for Ikea staff. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/NTB scanpix/TT

Staff at Ikea are getting an early Christmas treat in the form of millions of euros to share between them.

Sweden threatens action to stop Facebook 'hate and lies'
Should Facebook crack down on hate speech? Photo: AP Photo/dapd, Timur Emek

Sweden could impose legal obligations on Facebook as a last resort if the social network does not crack down on hate speech and fake news, the culture and democracy minister has threatened.

In pictures
This is what Sweden's new Icehotel looks like
An artist's impression of the hotel in winter. Photo: PinPin Studio/Icehotel

The famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi has just opened its new year-round section. Have a look at some of the first pictures of one of the world's most unusual hotels here.

The Local List
Sweden's pioneering free press act turns 250
It doesn't look bad for 250 years old. Photo: Regeringen

On the day of its 250th anniversary, The Local looks at five facts worth knowing about Sweden's groundbreaking Freedom of the Press Act.

Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
National
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
Travel
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »

 

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
Gallery
People-watching: November 30th
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
National
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Gallery
Property of the week: Skellefteå
National
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
National
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
Gallery
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
National
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
Gallery
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
National
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
National
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
Gallery
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Culture
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Travel
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
Culture
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
National
Here's where Sweden's best non-native English speakers live
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
Politics
Do Swedish polls underestimate support for Sweden Democrats?
3,506
jobs available