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Court hands down prison sentences in major Finnish drug trial

The longest prison sentence handed down by the court was 12 years, while 11 defendants were slapped with prison terms of five to eight years.

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Image: Heli Mansikka / Yle

Pirkanmaa District Court handed down initial convictions Friday in a trial involving the largest drug case of all time in the Pirkanmaa region and one of the largest ever in Finland with 28 suspects charged with smuggling 2.8 million euros worth of narcotics from the Netherlands to Finland.

The longest sentence for convictions on aggravated narcotics offences was 12 years. In addition, 11 people received sentences ranging from five to eight years, while other defendants were slapped with shorter suspended and custodial sentences. The court dismissed charges against eight of the 28 accused.

International drug smuggling ring

The international drug smuggling ring is charged with smugging amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine into Finland from the Netherlands. The street value of the drugs was close to 2.8 million euros, according to the prosecutor.

Almost all of the defendants were men under the age of 30. The charges included aggravated narcotics offences and money laundering, which according to police was handled through intermediaries in the Netherlands.

The police tracked down the league a year ago in September, as it attempted to import 20 kilograms of amphetamines from the Netherlands into Finland for sale. All told, the group is suspected of smuggling 50 kilograms of amphetamines into Finland.

Some of the haul was confiscated from stashes found in apartments, cars, and the ceiling of a bathroom in a Tampere shopping centre.

The trial involved the services of interpreters working in five languages. The sentences that were handed down on Friday can still be appealed to the Court of Appeal and are therefore not yet enforceable.

The trial continues in Pirkanmaa District Court on Monday.

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