The heroin and cocaine was smuggled into Finland in packages weighing roughly seven grams.The Itä-Uusimaa Police Department has uncovered a drug ring that is believed to have smuggled substantial amounts of heroin and cocaine into Finland.

An inquiry into the activities of the ring was opened in the aftermath of a fatal heroin overdose in Vantaa last October, after various sources had indicated to the investigators that a tight-knit gang was trafficking heroin in the city.

Some of the sources estimated that as much as several kilos of heroin was available on the streets at the time, reveals Rauno Jämsä, the officer in charge of the investigation.

He also reveals that a pre-trial investigation launched in March has confirmed that a substantial amount of heroin and cocaine was smuggled into Finland in a one-off operation in the summer of 2013.

Apparently, the drug mule only spent one night in Finland. The identity of the mule remains unknown, although the briefcase used in the operation was later discovered in the storage facilities of one of the other suspects. It is believed to have contained a total of three to four kilos of heroin and one to two kilos of cocaine.

The first arrests in the investigation were made in May and resulted in the confiscation of a notable amount of heroine. The investigators have refrained from disclosing the total number of drug seizures.

Overall, the case consists of 18 suspects, 9 of whom have been arrested or detained in the course of the pre-trial investigation and 11 of whom are set to face charges of aggravated drug offence. The suspects are primarily from the Vantaa and Helsinki region.

The main suspects in the case, two Somali men, have stayed abroad since the launch of the pre-trial investigation and remain at large. They are believed to be the owners of the drugs and responsible for orchestrating the smuggling and distribution operations. International warrants for their arrest have been filed.

The case was referred to a prosecutor for consideration of charges last week. According to Jämsä, it remains possible that the heroin that caused the fatal overdose is somehow related to the case under investigation. "The confiscated heroin was exceptionally potent," he highlights.

Only a few heroin seizures have occurred in Finland in recent years. The crime laboratory of the Finnish Police did not analyse a single heroin sample in 2010-2012, and only two in 2013, tells Jämsä.

The Finnish Customs, in turn, occasionally intercepts small batches of heroin.

Jämsä estimates that the objective of the smuggling ring under investigation was to take control of the heroin market across the entire Southern Finland. "Heroin has popped up only rarely in Finland in recent years. In this sense, the case is exceptional," he views.

Minna Passi – HS
Aleksi Teivainen  HT
Image: Poliisi