Five charged with cocaine smuggling

Five people were charged on Tuesday in southwest Sweden for allegedly smuggling 20 kilograms of cocaine through the mail from Costa Rica among Christmas presents.

The 50-year-old man said by police to be heading the drug ring was earlier thought to have brought in up to nearly 100 kilos of cocaine into the country over time, nearly 80 million kronor worth of drugs, but Aino Alhem, prosecutor on the case said the man is only being charged with some 20 kilos now.

The Trelleborg man has allegedly been importing the drugs for some time. The shipments were first detected in Germany when a five-kilo package of cocaine was discovered. Swedish prosecutors have nearly 20 kilos worth of evidence against the man.

The drugs were ordered from Costa Rica and were delivered via mail to Arlanda. The packages would then be sent to different address in southern Sweden.

Four other men charged in the case, two of which are also being fined 5,000 kronor for each time their address was used as a receiving point for the drugs in Sweden.

The 50-year-old man was taken into custody in Turkey at the end of January this year. He was turned over to Sweden in June. Some 13,220 ecstasy pills were found with a bit of cocaine at one of the man’s properties along with a pistol with a silencer and two guns. The man has denied the charges.