Huge cocaine haul: trial starts today

The Danish defendants are appearing at Helsinki District Court.

File photo of judge holding documents / Credit: iStock

The trial begins in Helsinki on Wednesday of five men accused of raiding a warehouse in Espoo to liberate a huge haul of cocaine.

The incident happened in December last year with attackers threatening warehouse workers with replica guns, and hit the driver of a container truck over the head.

The 174kg of cocaine was apparently hidden among legitimate cargo being imported by the Espoo company, unknown to them. Police think the gang tried unsuccessfully at least once before, to unload the container on its journey from Brazil to Finland via Netherlands.

The gang – four Danes and one man living in Sweden – fled the warehouse before police arrived but were caught later that day in two cars trying to leave the country by ferry at the Olympia terminal in Helsinki.

Prosecutors say the drugs had a value of €25 million but they don’t think it was intended primarily for the Finnish market, but was supposed to be distributed to drug dealers in other countries.