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Police suspect 30 in drug smuggling operation

A preliminary investigation in western Finland is coming to an end and the case is expected to head to prosecutors soon.

Narkotika som fanns i den påse som hittades vid fågelbrädet i Helsingfors.
File photo of seized drugs from Finnish Customs.. Image: Polisinrättningen i Helsingfors

Police in Finland's western region of Ostrobothnia are investigating a drug smuggling operation allegedly involving 30 suspects.

Authorities said three suspects from Finland and Bulgaria primarily brought in amphetamine base oil which is used to produce the street version of the drug, but also smaller amounts of ecstasy and cannabis during 2017-2019.

The drugs were allegedly imported into Ostrobothnia from the Netherlands, according to local police inspector Olli-Pekka Punkari, who added that the drugs were distributed in the area.

Police are investigating both the import of the drugs as well as how the drugs were distributed around Ostrobothnia, according to Punkari.

The three individuals - two Bulgarian nationals and one from Finland -- are suspected of taking the drugs into the country.

Police suspect that the smuggled amphetamine base oil was used to produce several of kilos of amphetamine in Ostrobothnia.

Local distributors

Two other individuals from Ostrobothnia are suspected of distributing the drugs around the area, who police said used amphetamine themselves and with the help from others sold several kilograms of amphetamines in the municipalities of Jakobstad, Kokkola and Isokyrö.

The individual from Isokyrö is suspected of buying and then selling nearly one kilogram of the stimulant in the municipalities of Vaasa and Seinäjoki, according to Punkari.

The preliminary investigation also uncovered several thefts and cases of money laundering. Authorities also seized stolen property which had allegedly been used to pay drug debts.

In its investigation, the Ostrobothnian police department cooperated with other police units in Finland, the National Bureau of Investigation, Eurojust and authorities abroad.

The case is heading to prosecutors in the next few weeks.

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