Drug enforcement officers in Helsinki have uncovered a major drug trafficking ring, which is believed to have smuggled as much as 60 kilos of amphetamine in scaffolding tubes into Finland in January.

The street value of the drugs is an estimated 1.2 million euros.

According to chief inspector Jari Pynnönen, roughly 40 kilos of the drugs were distributed to street dealers before police seized the remaining 20 kilos. As part of the pre-trial investigation, police have brought ten men and one woman in for questioning, including the leader of the Bandidos motorcycle club, nine of whom remain in police custody. Three of the 29-50-year-old suspects are Estonian and the rest Finnish citizens.

The suspects have a history of drug trafficking arrests, Pynnönen also reveals.

The prosecutor is expected to bring the charges in the case by Midsummer and to demand maximum penalties for some of the suspects on grounds of the volume of drugs involved. The maximum penalty for an aggravated drug offence is 10 years’ imprisonment for a first-time offender and 13 years’ imprisonment for a repeat offender.

The bust made by police is among the largest amphetamine seizures ever made in Finland, with the seizures usually ranging between one and two kilos. The seizure, Pynnönen estimates, is likely to result in a momentarily decrease in the availability of amphetamine in Southern Finland.

Juho Jokinen, Heikki Arola – HS