• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Record number of raids on Swedish drug farms

The Local · 22 Jul 2015, 12:02

Published: 22 Jul 2015 11:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2015 12:02 GMT+02:00

Last week The Local reported that two men had been sent to prison after 570 cannabis plants – enough to produce around 31 kilogram of marijuana – were discovered at a disused school in Lysekil in western Sweden in a raid eight months ago.

And the incident is just one in a growing series of drugs hauls recovered in the Nordic country over the past decade.

In 2014 a total of 904 cannabis farms were reported to the police – more than quadruple the 211 reports officers received in 2004, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet, BRÅ).

“Large-scale production of cannabis has definitely increased and is expected to rise even further,” Torstein Norman, section head of the national police's intelligence department, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

He spoke as a number of suspects in the biggest cannabis case in Swedish history were facing sentencing later on Wednesday. Some 20 people involved in the court case are accused of having set up seven marijuana factories, hiring paperless refugees to run the farms.

DEBATE: Should Sweden make cannabis use legal?

Organized crime is believed to be behind most drug farms in Sweden. They are usually located in deserted houses in the Swedish countryside. But not always. Raids carried out by police also regularly discover wardrobes or basements converted into mini-greenhouses.

“The larger the farm, the more organization is required. But in some cases it may just be about pure entrepreneurial spirit,” Norman told DN.

However, illegal drugs are also flooding into Sweden from abroad, with 2,398 seizures of a total of 860 kilogram of marijuana and cannabis by Swedish Customs last year. The majority entered the country via the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark.

“On the Öresund Bridge alone we carry out on average seven seizures of narcotics in 24 hours. 90 percent of those are cannabis,” Håkan Hansson of Customs' border department in Malmö told DN.

Earlier this month Malmö police called for tougher border checks on the crossing that links the southern Swedish city to Copenhagen in a bid to clamp down on illegal weapons pouring into Sweden via the Danish capital.

Story continues below…

Sweden has by and large a 'zero tolerance' approach to drugs, although calls for legalizing the drug are sometimes heard. The Nordic country criminalized illicit drug use in 1988, following a two-year attempt to introduce a more tolerant approach that was considered a failure by authorities.

Anyone suspected of being 'high' can be detained and given a compulsory urine test. If positive, they are slapped with a criminal charge and must stand trial.

According to figures released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) last year, only nine percent of the Swedish school population has tried cannabis, compared to 39 percent in France, 42 percent in the Czech Republic and around 25 percent in Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Video
Heckler humbles Swedish golf champion with perfect putt
Henrik Stenson met his match in the final practice for the Ryder Cup. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/TT

Well that wasn't supposed to happen...

Presented by Invest Stockholm
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges

It’s no secret that Stockholm is serious about sustainability. We took a look at how the city's emerging startups are tackling global challenges, making the world a better place.

Warm weather melts H&M profits
An H&M store in central Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A warm autumn may be good news for Swedes, but it was bad news for Sweden's biggest clothing brand.

Rail delays after heavy winds batter Sweden
The weather is expected to clear up. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Commuters were advised to take it easy in traffic on Friday, after harsh winds toppled trees across roads and railways across Sweden.

Volvo recalls 127,000 cars worldwide
Volvo is recalling 127,000 cars. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Do you own a Volvo? Read this.

The Local Recipes
Swedish food: How to make sweetened lingonberries
Sweetened lingonberries. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Possibly the most Swedish food there is. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local's readers.

Opinion
Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/TT & Kristin Streff/AP/TT

Sweden is neither a socialist paradise nor an internationalist hell. The truth, argues The Local's reporter Lee Roden, lies somewhere in the middle.

Sweden loses fastest internet crown
Good luck untangling those. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Worse still, the new European king is Norway.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

The Local List
These are the brands Swedes love the most
What brands do the Swedes love the most? Photo: Per Groth/Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/Pontus Lundahl/TT

Revealed: Swedes' top-20 favourite brands.

Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
3,006
jobs available