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Customs and the Police uncovered a marijuana smuggling operation run from abroad

Publication date 6.3.2023 9.20
Press release

Finnish Customs and the Police in Southwestern Finland have together investigated an organisation that brought in and distributed marijuana. The organisation, which was mainly run from abroad and used commercial traffic for smuggling, is suspected of having imported more than 230 kilograms of marijuana to Finland. The street value of the narcotics that have ended up in Turku and the Uuusimaa region is close to 4 million euros.

In late summer 2022, Customs and the police seized almost 40 kilograms of marijuana and about 95 000 euros in cash from the marijuana import and distribution organisation under investigation. The cash is suspected to be partly proceeds of crime from marijuana already in circulation and partly for payment for a new imported batch.

The organisation is suspected of having brought in to Finland over 230 kilograms of marijuana since the end of 2021. The street value of the imported marijuana that has ended up on the Finnish market totalled almost 4 million euros. It is suspected that over twenty batches have been imported.

Courier shipments used for smuggling narcotics – contact maintained via various instant messaging services

“Marijuana was imported from Spain and Italy to Finland in commercial transport structures, and express courier shipments were used in the importation. Based on the preliminary investigation we carried out, the organisation's activities were managed from Spain and typically the individuals contacted each other via various instant messaging services", says Customs’ Investigator in charge, Tero Virtanen.

”The narcotics were first imported to the Helsinki region, where they were stored in private dwellings and hired storage facilities acquired specifically for this purpose. The marijuana was transported from the Helsinki region e.g. to Turku and the Uusimaa area where it was distributed onward, says Police Lieutenant Markus Laine from the Southwestern Finland Police Department.

More than 15 individuals are suspected of having participated in the activities of the organisation. Several individuals are still being detained. Each has had their own designated role in the organisation’s operation.

The proceeds from selling the marijuana has mainly been sent abroad. The money has been taken out of Finland by money couriers hired for this purpose, and through money transfers made by private individuals.

The preliminary investigation is concluded and the case has been forwarded to the Prosecution District of Southern Finland for consideration of charges.

Media release