Friday, 19 September 2008

17 tons of hashish to Denmark drugs were smuggled from the Netherlands and Spain

05:38 | , , ,

Danish police say they have broken up a drug ring suspected of having smuggled at least 17 tons of hashish to Denmark.Police spokesman Steffen Steffensen says nine people have been arrested across the country since May in the operation. About 484 pounds (220 kilograms) of hashish has been seized during the raids.
Steffensen said Wednesday those arrested include a 46-year-old German woman of Colombian heritage who was arrested on her way out of Denmark with 1.7 million kroner (US$323,633) in cash. He said more arrests are likely as the investigation continues.Police say the drugs were smuggled from the Netherlands and Spain.criminal organisation has imported as much as 17 tons of cannabis from Spain and the Netherlands into Denmark, police say. The turnover was enormous, and a German woman has been charged with transporting DKK 53 million to the gang’s contacts abroad.
The affair has been secretly investigated by the Copenhagen Police since the beginning of the year and a total of nine people have been arrested so far.
Both the 46-year old woman, who worked as money courier, and a man, aged 41 and presumed to be the drug baron, have been in custody since May, according to Police Superintendant Steffen Th. Steffensen. At the time of her arrest, the woman was leaving Denmark with DKK 1.7 million. One of the arrested men, a suspected principle figure, was caught south of Køge and police have found a comprehensive set of accounts that form the basis of the charge. The many transports are believed to have taken place over the past 18 months. Another principle suspect was also arrested near Køge. If the amount of 17 tons of cannabis is correct, it is the largest hash case ever in Denmark. The cannabis was sold from different places in Copenhagen, including in Christiania. There were also customers in Holstebro, Esbjerg, Horsens and Århus, and arrests have also been made in these cities, says Steffensen.
In a few cases sentences have already been passed regarding the receipt of 600 and 800 kilos of cannabis. During one of the raids in Jutland, the police officers also found a machine gun. The police believe the cannabis was smuggled into the country in cars and trucks.
But the investigation is far from over as the Copenhagen Drugs Squad suspects that a Danish man, who is already wanted in connection with another crime, has played a central role.
In the biggest case so far involving the smuggling of 13 tons of cannabis on board the ship “Atlantic Privateer”, Claus Malmqvist, 41, was sentenced to 16 years in prison last year. Police believe that the man they are looking for handled about three tons of the ship’s cannabis cargo and that he worked with Malmqvist and the latter’s partner Lars Petersen, who is serving time for hash smuggling as well as killing of another accomplice. The drugs squad apparently think he is continuing his highly profitable cannabis business from his hideout and with new partners.

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