Four in custody after major cannabis bust in Stockholm

Police in Stockholm confiscated 140 kilogrammes of cannabis and arrested four men last weekend in raids carried out at several suburban locations last weekend.

The raids took place at addresses in the suburbs of Solna and Tyesö and the suspects were remanded in custody on Wednesday.

The bust was the largest by the Stockholm police in quite some time.

“In recent years the biggest seizure has been around 50 to 50 kilos. If you compare with that, this is really big,” said Bo Eliasson of the Stockholm police to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The raids came after several weeks of surveillance in Solna and Tyresö following the arrest in November of a man in connection with the seizure of 10 kilogrammes of cannabis.

According to a statement on their website, police believe one of the suspects arrested at the weekend is responsible for supplying the drug taken in the November arrest.

Police estimate the cannabis confiscated during the weekend raids has a street value between 9 and 15 million kronor ($1.1 to 1.8 million).

While the investigation is in its early stages, police expect to involve both Europol and Interpol as the suspects have ties to other countries.


Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.