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Police seize amphetamines, cocaine in one of Finland's largest drug busts

The drugs have been linked to an organised crime ring operating out of Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands.

A box was used to store and transport the amphetamines. Image: Itä-Uudenmaan poliisilaitos

The Eastern Uusimaa police department announced on Thursday that it had seized 113 grams of amphetamines and 103 kilograms of cocaine from a suspected drug trafficking ring in Finland in September 2021.

"The seizure is one of the largest, if not the largest, single seizure of amphetamines by the Finnish police in connection with criminal cases under investigation," Mikko Minkkinen, detective chief inspector at the Eastern Uusimaa police department, stated in a press release.

Police believe that the group previously managed to smuggle over 50 kilograms of the drugs into Finland from Estonia in three separate consignments before they were caught in September.

Officials could only seize a total of about three kilograms worth of drugs from these consignments, which had already been distributed by dealers.

"The 116 kilograms of amphetamine, which police have seized and successfully prevented from entering the Finnish market, are equivalent to about 580,000 dosages," Minkkinen added.

Police suspect that the drugs were brought into the country by an organised crime ring consisting of Finnish and Estonian nationals, who acquired a total of around 165 kilograms of amphetamines from the Netherlands the same month that they were caught.

The street value of 165 kilograms of amphetamines is estimated at over 4 million euros.

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Police found several stolen items when they searched the suspects' homes Image: Itä-Uudenmaan poliisilaitos

Police: Money for drugs came from logistics company

Police currently suspect six individuals of being part of the crime ring that smuggled the drugs into Finland. The group is presumed to be led by two Finnish men in their thirties (born in 1991 and 1992, respectively).

Police believe the men used cryptocurrency to purchase the drug consignments from suppliers in the Netherlands.

Preliminary investigations suggest that a logistics company managed by one of the main suspects served as a key source of funding for the drugs.

Officials suspect the rest of the crime network is made up of Estonian citizens, some of whom reside in Finland. They are believed to have stored as well as distributed the amphetamines.

In addition to members of the drug smuggling ring, a total of ten people are suspected of aiding the group and committing serious drug offences, as well as other crimes such as money laundering.

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Police also found a stolen electric bicycle when searching suspects' homes Image: Itä-Uudenmaan poliisilaitos.

Coordination between Finnish, Estonian and Dutch police

The investigation was led by the Eastern Uusimaa police department, in cooperation with officials at Europol as well as police in the Netherlands and Estonia.

Dutch police sent Finnish officials real-time information about members of a criminal group operating in the Netherlands which had been under surveillance.

Two of the suspected drug smugglers were apprehended once they returned to Estonia from the Netherlands. The Finnish men who allegedly ordered the amphetamines were then taken into police custody in Finland.

Police believe the group has also smuggled two kilograms of amphetamines from Finland to Estonia.