Record drug busts in different countries (updated 19.04)April 18, 2016
Fifteen people have been arrested in what has been characterized as Norway’s largest ever drug bust targeting the so-called dark web, The Local reports on April 19.
The case has its origins in the FBI’s 2013 closure of the popular Silk Road website, an anonymous online marketplace used for selling illicit drugs. When a second version of the website was shut down, American authorities were able to access a list of sellers and clients’ names. Amongst these were hundreds of Norwegians traders who had operated on Silk Road. The operators also traded under aliases such as “Alfa&Omega”, “Deeeplove” and “Kvalitetsbevisst” on several other dark web market places.
Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) launched operation Marco Polo, the nation’s first and biggest operation against organized drug crime on the dark web and VG reported this week that the sting has resulted in the arrested of 15 people, including five men suspected of being the biggest online Norwegian drug dealers.
A rental van hired in Sweden and driven over the border to Norway has been caught containing massive amounts of marijuana, amphetamines and pills, The Local reported on April 14.
Several hundred kilogrammes of drugs were found in the Sweden-registered van that crossed into south east Norway at the end of last year, Norwegian officials have revealed.
The Directorate of Norwegian Customs said that the discovery was the largest ever drug confiscation made in the county of Hedmark and took place after the van crossed into Norway, entering the town of Kongsvinger on November 28th.
Wednesday a huge drug shipment of some 60 kg of cocaine worth an estimated €6m on the black market was seized in the Jugla suburb in Rīga, reported Latvian Television Thursday. The story was updated on Thursday with more precise info revealed by Customs Police Chief Edijs Ceipe in a press conference, The Public broadcasting of Latvia reported on April 14.
The drugs were discovered in an abandoned hangar by the Jugla lake. The shipment was hidden in a shipment of charcoal from Paraguay. Three Latvian citizens have been arrested in the case but Customs Police Chief Edijs Ceipe said it’s likely others are involved and investigation is ongoing.
“For Latvia it’s a large, huge [shipment] for the illegal market,” said Ceipe, saying that this is one of the largest drug busts in Latvia within the last few years.
The Finnish Customs and the police seized a large cache of pharmaceuticals, drugs and weapons in Southern Finland. The street value of the confiscated drugs and weapons is more than 300,000 euros, Finland Times reported on April 13.
The Customs seized about 400 grams of alprazolam from a package dispatched from abroad, enough for an estimated 80,000 doses. In addition, the Customs said they have confiscated designer drugs smuggled into the country.