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Charges filed in opioid smuggling case

Charges have been filed against four suspects after customs officers intercepted a consignment of Subutex tablets thought to be headed for illicit sale in the Turku region.

Tullin takavarikoima Subutex.
Subutex tablets seized by Customs. Image: Tulli

Customs says it discovered around 2,600 Subutex tablets hidden in the bodywork of a van in March of last year. Subutex is the brand name of buprenorphine, an opioid used to treat addiction and chronic pain. The drugs were smuggled to Finland from France.

The estimated street value of the tablets is 150,000 euros.

Tullin takavarikoima Subutex.
Tablets hidden in a van used by the suspects. Image: Tulli

Four resident foreigners, taken into custody as suspects in the smuggling operation, are now facing charges in the case. A preliminary investigation carried out in cooperation with other EU national authorities has been completed and the four will go on trial for aggravated narcotics offenses.

Earlier on Tuesday, the newspaper Savon Sanomat reported that in a separate case in 2015-2016 Finnish Customs uncovered a 178 million euro drug smuggling ring, the biggest professional operation of its kind in the country ever.

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