Monday, 18 February, 2019

Narcotics seizures by Customs increase last year

13 Mar 2018, 00:37 ( 11 Months ago) | updated: 13 Mar 2018, 09:24 ( 11 Months ago)

DF Report
Photo Source: Finnish Customs.

Finnish Customs registered 9,409 offences in 2017 of which 3,229 were narcotics offences, according to an official press release.

A total of 3,175 kilograms of narcotics were seized and Customs also warned about life-threatening fentanyl derivatives and uncovered a substantial number of doping offences.

The impact of customs crime prevention on society amounted to around 81 million euros in 2017.

The number of registered offences has remained relatively steady for the last three years. Of the 9,409 registered offences, narcotics offences were 3,229 of which 271 were aggravated narcotics offences. Compared to 2016, the number remained about the same, but the number of aggravated narcotics offences grew somewhat.

Foreign suspects accounted for 50 per cent of the aggravated narcotics offences.

The value of goods unseized by Customs in 2017 was five million euros. The total value of goods unseized in 2016 was significantly higher, since Customs examined a substantial case of international narcotics smuggling.

Finnish Customs seized 3,175 kilograms of narcotics in 2017, which is over 2,000 kilograms more than the previous year. Khat seizures grew by 1,500 kilograms from the previous year and hashish seizures by 600 kilograms, which explains the strong growth of the total quantity. In the previous two years, khat was brought into Finland in a dried state, which makes it lighter. The strong growth of the quantity of hashish seized, is explained by one seizure of 660 kilograms. The total quantity of seized marihuana was 115 kilograms.

A total quantity of around 58 kilograms of methamphetamine and amphetamine was seizes, i.e. two kilograms more than the year before.

Customs seized 3.5 kilograms of cocaine and 19,000 tablets of ecstasy. The seizures regarding both substances show a decreasing trend, but still corresponded to the average quantity of the last 10 years.

Finnish Customs seized approximately 90 grams of fentanyl derivatives in 2017. The quantity is significant, when taking into account the extremely small single doses. A quantity of 0.12 grams of the derivative carfentanil, which is 10,000 more potent than morphine, was seized.

A great number of narcotics smuggling cases were uncovered in passenger traffic. The cross-border postal traffic also revealed several cases of narcotics smuggling, which shows that the internet is used increasingly for the sale and acquisition of narcotics.

Finnish Customs seized twice the amount of narcotic medicines in 2017 compared to the previous year, and five times more than the average of the last five years.

The illegal import of medicines has exploded in the last five years as the importance of the internet as a trading venue for illegal drugs has grown. This has led to medicines being seized mainly in the postal traffic or in courier consignments. Around one-tenth of the seized medicines are brought in as passenger imports.

The quantity of doping substances seized by Customs quadrupled compared to 2016, despite the drop in the amount of aggravated doping offences. In 2017, approximately 121,300 tablets or ampoules of doping substances were seized. This clearly shows that great quantities are smuggled at one time. A major change in the smuggling of doping substances is that they are smuggled in large lots, which may contain e.g. one thousand ampoules or several kilograms of testosterone.

In 2007, Finnish Customs seized around 10 kilograms of doping powders, which is almost five kilograms more than in the previous year.

Testosterone powder was also often smuggled in large lots. The powder is used to manufacture single doses for injection or to manufacture tablets with a tablet machine. These substances are then sold through different networks.