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Sweden arrests record number of drugs smugglers

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Sweden arrests record number of drugs smugglers
Customs officers in Malmö. File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
13:38 CET+01:00
Large seizures of narcotics have been made from a record number of smugglers, with 58 individuals currently facing police charges, according to a report.

The high volume of seizures has customs offers working harder than ever, reports newspaper Sydsvenskan.

Major gateways for smuggling into Sweden include Malmö via the Öresund Bridge and ferries from Helsingborg in Denmark. Smuggling also takes place on boats to Ystad and Trelleborg, according to the report.

Customs in Sweden's Syd (South) police region, which consists of the Skåne, Blekinge and Kalmar counties, have reportedly made 973 confiscations since the end of 2017.

“Most [of the confiscations] are drugs. But we had large confiscations of spirits too," department leader Lars Bäckström told Sydsvenskan.

Customs checks have turned up 973 kilograms of cannabis, 330 kilograms of cocaine, 140 kilograms of amphetamine and 40 kilos of heroine, the newspaper writes. Other doping substances have also been found.

“Since this is related to serious crime, we have a lot of people in custody. That means our investigators are working extra hard at the moment,” Bäckström said.

Officers normally assigned to other areas are currently temporarily transferred to help the customs department manage the high volume of criminal investigations, according to the report.

“We thought that 2017 was an extreme year. We can now see that 2018 has started the same way. It is naturally gratifying that we are carrying out so many seizures. But it is also very strenuous,” Michael Nelander, head of the customs agency (Tullverket) for Region South, said to Sydsvenskan.

READ ALSO: Swedish customs made record drug busts in 2017

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