In April, Swedish law enforcement authorities raided an apartment in Mariestad and arrested three men and a woman. Four persons were suspected of running a vendor shop on the dark web at the time.
According to the Skaraborg District Court, the narcotics vendors made about five million SEK ($540,000) in profits by running their drug dealing operation on the dark net. The indictment says the suspects were active on dark web markets from 2013 and April 2016. The substance vending operation ended with a police raid in April on a couple’s apartment (who are both suspects in the case). The vendor shop allegedly sold various drugs including amphetamines, LSD, ecstasy and cannabis and completed about 6,000 orders on dark net marketplaces.
When law enforcement authorities raided the apartment of the couple in Mariestad, they seized about 100,000 pills of various kind. A follow up in the case includes the woman in the couple who contacted his employer via text message about his partner’s drug dealing operation. She wrote that his partner operates “the largest drug trafficking ring” and forced her into the operation. The employer immediately contacted law enforcement authorities who went to her address, that’s how the vendor shop was busted.
Another addition to the case is that, at the beginning, there were four suspects who were arrested by police. Now, when the trial started, there is only three. Since the lack of information Swedish police provided, it is unclear whether the charges were dropped by the court or the fourth suspect is prosecuted in a separate case. During the trial, the main suspect, the man in the couple, admitted some charges against him but did not tell anything about his two partner’s activities in the narcotics dealing operation.
The prosecutor in the case described the vendor group’s operation as “systematic and professional”.
In November, as part of the global police action Operation Hyperion, Swedish law enforcement authorities closed down a fentanyl dealing ring in Olofstörm. 12 suspects were arrested in the case and police found small amounts of the synthetic heroin during the raid.
“It shows up very often and we believe [fentanyl] is used continuously in the country. A few years ago there was a trend of fentanyl patch, in recent times, we have seen it in the form of nasal spray,” an investigator said.
Police in Sweden, and in most western countries, are worrying about a potential fentanyl epidemic. The use of the synthetic drug caused many deaths all over the world.
“I want to say that the synthetic version is even more dangerous. It is difficult to quantify and may differ much in strength. And it is very addictive. We already had a death in Vaxjo,” a police officer said. “The Internet has become a way for dealers. But hashish and amphetamines are still common drugs in the streets. Other drugs, such as synthetic heroin, are sold mostly on the network. Those who have taken [fentanyl] are not among the younger people, but we don’t know that for sure. Trading on the internet is not as easy as it seems.”