Courier’s suitcase. Photo: Finnish customs

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Finnish Customs has launched an investigation into a criminal organization suspected of smuggling substantial quantities of the narcotic medication Subutex from France to Finland. The organization allegedly transported the drugs through normal passenger traffic, hiding them in luggage. Five individuals are currently under suspicion.

During the preliminary investigation, Customs seized a total of 19,929 Subutex tablets. The smugglers reportedly traveled by air, bringing the drugs from France to Finland via Belgium.

Investigators believe the same organization has smuggled additional consignments of Subutex into the country.

"We suspect that since the beginning of this year, the organization has smuggled at least 60,000 Subutex tablets on six different occasions from France to Finland," stated Senior Customs Officer Janne Kallio. "The street value of these illicit narcotics is approximately 1.8 million euros."

The seizure of narcotic medicines has significantly increased this year. Customs has already confiscated over half a million tablets in 2024, surpassing the total amount seized last year.

Resurgence of Couriers in Passenger Traffic

"It appears that criminal organizations have partially reverted to using passenger traffic, which has returned to normal levels following the Covid-19 pandemic," Kallio noted.

The preliminary investigation has identified five suspects, including one Finn and four foreign nationals. Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be referred to the Prosecution District of Southern Finland for potential charges.

This case highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Finnish Customs in combating drug smuggling and the evolving methods employed by criminal networks to evade detection.

HT

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