Seven indicted over internet narcotics operation

Seven men are to be indicted on Monday on serious narcotics charges following an investigation by Swedish police into the large-scale sale of prescription drugs over the internet.

Police believe the suspects to have sold some 38 million kronor ($5.8 million) worth of medicines from the time they first established their operation in 2003.

“The investigation is one of the largest in Europe regarding the sale over the internet of medicines classified as narcotics. They had a great business idea, apart from the fact that it was illegal,” said police spokesman Ulf Jonsson.

Four of the accused have been held in custody for a year. These include a man from Malmö born in 1968 who is one of three prime suspects in the case. The other main suspects, also born in 1968, have addresses in Spain and Thailand respectively.

Three of the remaining four suspects, aged 37 to 43, are registered at addresses in the Stockholm region. The remaining suspect lives in Spain and is the oldest of the group, born in 1957.

None of the seven suspects has a criminal record and all deny committing an offence.

According to police, customers in 65 countries were able to order prescription drugs via three websites. The group delivered the goods to their clients through representatives in South Africa, India, Thailand, Spain and Bulgaria.

It was in Bulgaria that the first cracks began to appear after a female post office worker became suspicious of a man who repeatedly came in to send large packages abroad.

When Bulgarian police discovered that he was sending prescription drugs they were able to search through his computer and trace a connection to the Malmö suspect.