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Man beats smuggling rap because he 'drinks a lot'

3 May 2012, 10:39

Published: 03 May 2012 10:39 GMT+02:00

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The 23-year-old man was stopped in October 2011 after entering the town of Helsingborg on Sweden's west coast.

Customs officers duly discovered what they considered to be an extraordinary stash of alcoholic beverages, despite the man's claims that the booze was meant purely for personal consumption.

Officers' suspicions were further aroused when the man refused to tell them exactly how much drink he had on board.

While he first claimed to have 40 crates of beer, it turned out he was actually carrying 340 crates, the Metro newspaper reported.

A more thorough probe revealed that altogether, the man was transporting 2,357 litres of beer, 158 litres of pre-mixed drinks, 12 litres of wine, and 15 litres of spirits.

The man was subsequently charged and put on trial on suspicions of illegal alcohol smuggling.

However, the Helsingborg District Court ruled that it wasn't inconceivable that the man's entire cargo of booze and beer was meant for personal consumption, rather than for sale on the black market.

In detailed calculations, the court reasoned that the man, his father, and other relatives could plausibly consume all the beer within a year if they drank 1.3 litres every weekday.

In acquitting the 23-year-old, the court referenced a recent Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) ruling which found that transporting huge amounts of alcohol across the border into Sweden doesn't necessarily indicate the beverages are meant to be sold illegally.

Rather other factors, including how much alcohol the person in question consumes, must also be taken into consideration.

The court thus found that, due to the 23-year-old's "high alcohol consumption", he should be acquitted of the smuggling charges against him.

Story continues below…

In addition, the man was also allowed to reclaim the entire load of alcoholic beverages following the ruling.

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Your comments about this article

11:14 May 3, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
Why do I have a van full of automatic weapons? Well I like to hunt a lot, as does my friends and family. Please reference alcohol smuggling for precedence. I'm free to drive on? Why thank you officer, I'm sure I'll see you again soon.
11:19 May 3, 2012 by RobinHood
It sounds as if the judges at the Helsingborg District Court might have had a drop too much before reaching that conclusion.

The customs guys must wonder why they bother:

"Yesh offisher, I intend to drink all 2 357 litres myshelf over the next 15 years."

"Oh! Sorry to disturb you then sir - carry on."
11:59 May 3, 2012 by Keith #5083
Well, the court's calculations were not based on HIS personal consumption, were they?

" the court reasoned that the man, his father, and other relatives".

The man had stated he carried 40 crates of beer.He actually carried 340 crates. So why should the courts believe this liar when he claims it's for personal consumption?

I hope the customs office appeals this decision. It's totally absurd.

Notwithstanding, there should be the ability to levy an additional 'health tax' on large loads like this - for if it is to be believed that it is for personal consumption, then it must also follow that the guy will hardly have a functioning liver by the time he is 30 years old - and the health system will be burdened with the costs.
12:15 May 3, 2012 by ?????
What's the problem, as long as he brings things from another EU country? The guy had the right to claim whatever he wanted, even that he 'waters' his garden with beer. The authorities should fight the black market when things are sold and not making guesses before a crime is committed.
12:26 May 3, 2012 by karex
Isn't there a limit to how much one can bring in even from another EU country? He didn't even get charged tax over the excess? Taxes do apply after a certain amount, so as to discourage people from getting all their booze overseas: you go through all that trouble and then if you have too much you pay the same as if you had purchased it in System Bolaget. Eller?

Methinks the judge was perhaps thinking of becoming a potential customer...
12:58 May 3, 2012 by engagebrain
Customs could of course check that the stash is being depleted at a rate consistent with consumption by the family, or even check on the number of empty cans.
13:03 May 3, 2012 by Beavis
There is no limit for beer- there is only a limit for spirits.. Fair play to the guy.Sweden is in the EU and they cant be applying EU law when it suits them and when it doesnt. The System bulls*t sytem is illegal in the eyes of the EU. Saw their recent ad on TV where a teenager is asking for a glass of wine and the parent is not thinking whats responsible but instead listening to state propeganda- it truly disgusted me.. People should be able to make their own choices, this is not a dictatorship..
17:19 May 3, 2012 by gpafledthis
Giggle-giggle-ha-ha- Oh stop it sweedies-too much laughing is no good either Thanks to TL I no longer buy MAD Magazine or Marvel Comics !! Now for my daily hoo-hoo I just click the bookmarked TL.com !!
20:36 May 3, 2012 by jack sprat
Wether or not Sweden is already a nation of alcoholics may well be debatable, but it will certainly be very happy to claim to be so, after this little episode.
03:14 May 4, 2012 by Da Goat
they should simply lock him and his family up (for their own and everyone's safety) until such time as they drink it all!

I am thinking that > 1 litre beer/day cannot be too healthy!


just send him and his stash off to prison so they can all have a big party!
11:30 May 7, 2012 by sureiam
Msg to Swedish Government: Let people live freeeeeeely for Godness sake.....

as it is there is lots of sucidials in this God damn country!

Thumbs up for alcohol guy....
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