Bird box drugs bust leads to huge crime haul

A member of the public found drugs stashed inside a bird box and reported the find to the police which lead to them uncovering a much wider criminal enterprise.

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Drugs hidden inside a bird box / Credit: Helsinki Police

Criminals in Helsinki were using bird boxes to stash drugs, and only got caught after a member of the public found the haul by accident.

It lead officers to making one of the biggest crime busts in recent memory, with drugs and weapons uncovered in a series of raids.

The main suspects in the case, two Finnish men, are in custody and police think they imported more than a dozen different kinds of drugs including up to 112kg of amphetamines; up to 80,000 ecstasy pills; up to 26kg of MDMA; and 500 grams of cocaine, and selling it online on the Tor network – then posting the drugs around the country to the buyers.

Drugs recovered from inside a bird box / Credit: Helsinki Police

The drugs were likely to have been brought in from the Netherlands in several shipments and at least one consignment was stopped en route by German authorities and confiscated.

“This is an unusually large online drug deal in Finland. There’s over 9000 individual transactions. Drugs have also been distributed to contacts via the Tor network and the Wickr instant messaging service, which is known for its strong encryption” says Toni Uusikivi, who is leading the investigation at Helsinki Police.

The criminal enterprise was uncovered by accident when a member of the public found a drug stash hidden inside a bird box in northern Helsinki in December 2017. At that time police were able to get DNA from one of the drugs packages and trace a suspect.

“It is not uncommon for the police to trace drugs activity on the basis of a tip from a member of the public” says Uusikivi.

In addition to the drugs they found, police also discovered pistols, two assault rifles and a hand grenade in the course of their investigation.

The case is expected to be heard in court in November.

Colt M-16 seized by police / Credit: Helsinki Police