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CUSTOMS

Ten years following major opium bust

The prime suspects in an opium bust in which Swedish officials last spring seized nearly 100 kilograms of the drug have been sentenced to ten years in prison.

During raids in April and May, Swedish customs officials confiscated 99.5 kilograms of opium from an apartment in Bromma, a Cadillac belonging to one of those convicted, and in a Shurgard storage facility in Solna.

The drug had been concealed inside hollowed out boards.

Police estimated the street value of the narcotics at 15 million kronor ($2.2 million).

The seizure is Sweden’s largest opium bust ever, and according to police and customs officials, one of the largest in northern Europe.

Last year police confiscated just three kilograms of the drug.

Solna District Court sentenced the two prime suspects, aged 31 and 40 respectively, to ten years in prison. While the 40-year-old is an Iranian citizen, he will not be deported because he has lived in Sweden since he was 16-years-old.

Three other men were also convicted for their role in the crime. A 38-year-old is to serve 4.5 years in prison before being deported, while a 41-year-old received a five year prison sentence.

A 42-year-old who had a minor role in the operation was given a suspended sentence and community service.

DRUG

Drug smugglers jailed for ‘record’ Swedish haul

A man was sentenced on Friday to ten years in prison after he was found to be the ringleader in a record drug bust in southern Sweden, with three of his accomplices also jailed.

Drug smugglers jailed for 'record' Swedish haul

The ringleader, a 41-year-old Swede, was convicted of aggravated drug smuggling after he brought 150 kilogrammes of amphetamine into Helsingborg, southern Sweden.

The haul had been taken by truck from Slovakia, and was seized by police in November last year.

Several of the convicted man’s accomplices were also sentenced, including the driver of the vehicle, who was sent to prison for six years, and another two men who were sentenced to six years and three years respectively.

The police were aware of the men’s activity for a long period of time, and performed a sting operation two days after the amphetamine crossed the Swedish border. The sting was part of a large scale operation involving both Europol and Slovakian police.

The drugs have an estimated street value of 30 million kronor ($4.5 million), and were part of what the Stockholm District Court believed to be a far-reaching international drug network.

The convicted ringleader told the court that he was only part of the operation as he had been threatened by other drug dealers, however the court did not believe his claims. The court pointed to telephone calls as evidence that the man was willingly part of the drug ring.

TT/The Local/og

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