Finland’s biggest ever cocaine smuggling operation busted

Police say cocaine use in the Tampere region was rising, but has been decreasing during 2018 due to drugs seizures and preventive measures.

File photo of judge holding documents / Credit: iStock

Police have revealed details of a huge drugs bust this morning, thought to be the largest in Finnish history.

Law enforcement agencies have completed their pre-trial investigation into a drug smuggling ring suspected of bringing 13kg of cocaine from the Netherlands to Finland in 2017-2018.

“This is the biggest case of importing and distributing cocaine ever discovered in Finland” says Jari Räty who headed up the investigation at the NBI.

Finnish authorities say they worked closely with police departments in other countries on the investigation, and say 17 people are suspected of smuggling the drugs into Finland, and another 16 people suspected of distributing it in Tampere and the capital city region.

“The police suspect that the couriers have transported cocaine from the Netherlands to Finland in 21 separate batches […] the main suspects from the organisation have been from Tampere” says Räty.

Cocaine use growing in Tampere

The police investigations began after discovering that more cocaine was moving into the Tampere area.

A 2017 study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL also showed evidence of a strong increase in cocaine use in the region.

“In November 2018 however, the use of cocaine in Tampere has turned into a clear decline, with the help of the police’s deterrent measures and drugs seizures” explains Jari Räty.

The results of the pre-trial investigation will go to prosecutors in the coming weeks. During the investigation five people were held in prison, and two jailed in absentia.