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Finnish Customs’ preliminary investigation into aggravated narcotics offences as part of a major international operation is completed – smuggling was organised with encrypted telephones

Publication date 15.9.2021 9.00
Press release

Customs has completed the preliminary investigation into several aggravated narcotics offences, totalling eight suspected individuals. In addition to the narcotics offences, the investigation also covered a firearms offence. The investigation is connected to a major international operation.

In the case, which is being forwarded for consideration of charges, encrypted telephones were used to organise the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana on several occasions. In the major international operation, FBI gained access to encrypted communication between criminals in different countries and conveyed information to the Finnish authorities.

– In the middle of April, Customs uncovered an attempt to smuggle cocaine at the Port of Hanko. Customs seized approximately 11 kilos of cocaine from an articulated vehicle that arrived from Germany, says the investigator in charge, Senior Customs Officer Janne Kallio.

The preliminary investigation also uncovered other occasions of import.

– During the preliminary investigation, narcotics consignments were seized abroad on their way to Finland. In Estonia, two kilos of cocaine were seized and in addition, several dozen kilos of narcotic substances were seized in other places abroad. Furthermore, during the preliminary investigation two occasions of cocaine import were uncovered, where the narcotics had ended up on the street market. The street value of the narcotics uncovered during the preliminary investigation is approximately 3.2 million euros, Kallio adds.

Marijuana nursery

Smuggling of cocaine and marijuana was organised with encrypted telephones

In connection with the preliminary investigation, extensive searches and apprehensions were carried out in the beginning of June. During the searches, two marijuana nurseries as well as a few thousand euros in cash were seized among other things. In addition to the narcotics offences, the investigation covered a firearms offence. Eight individuals were suspects in the preliminary investigation. Of them, most are Finns living in the Helsinki region. The suspects are aged between 25 and 48.

Several persons abroad and in Finland participated in the activities of the criminal organisation. Each of them had their own responsibilities and they either acquired, smuggled, received or distributed the narcotics. When communicating, encrypted telephones were used and each person had a pseudonym in order to remain anonymous.

– The completed preliminary investigation is part of a larger framework. The preliminary investigation continues regarding other suspects. We will provide more information later about the larger framework, says Kallio.

Pictures taken by Finnish Customs:

Picture 1: Cardboard box partially opened and containing cocaine.
Picture 2: Parcel of cocaine from the cardboard box opened.
Picture 3: Medium-sized marijuana nursery found in Tuusula during a search.
Picture 4: Bag in a suspect’s possession containing cash that was seized.
Picture 5: Cash from the suspect’s bag.

Media release