Record-Breaking Drug Seizure in Sweden: Three Men Charged

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.06 - 2024 3:09 PM CET

Customs has made a record-breaking seizure of narcotic drugs smuggled from Serbia to Sweden.

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Swedish Customs has intercepted a record haul of narcotic drugs smuggled from Serbia through Hungary, leading to charges against three men.

The operation uncovered large quantities of drugs hidden in unconventional compartments, marking a major breakthrough in Sweden's fight against drug smuggling.

Smuggling Operation Exposed

The investigation into the smuggling network gained momentum in January when surveillance on two of the suspects, both residents of Sweden, led to the discovery of narcotics at Kviberg's cemetery in Gothenburg. The suspects had discarded several truck tires, one of which contained the narcotic-classified sleep aid Zolpidem.

This discovery was pivotal in confirming their involvement in the smuggling of narcotic preparations, stated Ingela Östmark, head of the Customs Department's criminal department West.

On January 17, the two Swedish-based suspects directed a Serbian truck driver to a rental warehouse in Gothenburg.

Here, part of the cargo was transferred to another storage facility before the driver headed towards Stockholm.

Customs officers intervened at the warehouse, arresting the two men found with over 10,000 Xalol tablets. The truck was subsequently stopped near Borås on the E40 highway.

Massive Drug Haul Recovered

Upon searching the truck, officials found almost 1.5 million Xalol tablets concealed within 42 cartons.

Further investigations at the warehouse unearthed an additional 427,000 Xalol tablets and 21,000 tablets of other classified drugs, including sleeping pills, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medications, and potency drugs.

"It was an extensive criminal activity. The men's stock of Serbian-made pharmaceuticals was akin to a drug pharmacy," Östmark remarked.

Legal Proceedings

Charges were formally laid against the three men on Monday.

The 44-year-old Serbian truck driver faces charges of particularly serious drug smuggling, while the other two men, aged 40 and 53, are charged with serious drug crimes.

The prosecutor has also requested the deportation of the 44-year-old driver and the 53-year-old man post-sentence. If convicted, the accused could face prison terms ranging from four to six years.

This year, Swedish Customs has already intercepted almost 3.7 million narcotic tablets and capsules, surpassing the total of 3 million seized last year.

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