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Five remanded in custody after Espoo drugs haul

The suspects arrested at the Olympic Terminal on Monday are citizens of Sweden, Denmark and Albania.

Police cars at the Olympia Terminal in Helsinki on 16 December. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Helsinki’s District Court has remanded into custody five people suspected of aggravated drug offences and aggravated robbery following the confiscation of a large cache of drugs during a major police operation in Espoo and Helsinki on Monday.

The suspects are said by police to be citizens of Sweden, Denmark and Albania.

Police reportedly seized a large consignment of cocaine, suspected to have been shipped from Brazil, with Finnish media reporting on Tuesday that the drugs were found in a sealed shipping container.

This has led investigators to believe the suspects had inside information about the logistics company Algol Chemicals, although the company itself is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The drama began just after midday on Monday when police responded to a call about suspected intruders at a chemical warehouse at Karapellontie in Espoo, who allegedly attacked the driver of a trailer while it was being unloaded.

Later on Monday, police arrested six suspects -- five at Helsinki's Olympia Terminal and one elsewhere -- on suspicion of involvement in the Espoo incident. One suspect, an Albanian man resident in Finland, has since been released.

Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, has warned of the increased use of shipping channels by international drug trafficking cartels.

The investigation by police is being carried out in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation and Finnish Customs’ anti-crime unit.

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