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Friday, 9 September 2011

Hell’s Angels leaders suspected in massive drug case


The drugs squad of the Helsinki Police and the West Uusimaa Police have uncovered an exceptionally large drug smuggling and growing operation, in which the main suspects are members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club.       Police managed to confiscate several kilos of amphetamine and cocaine as well as a number of unlicensed weapons and about EUR 200,000 in cash. Police also found the biggest cannabis growing operation ever discovered in Finland.       Detective inspector Jari Pynnönen describes the case as one of the biggest in Finnish history. What makes it exceptional is that the police were able to trace the drug trafficking organisation to the very highest levels.       “Six members of the Hell’s Angels organisation have been detained or arrested during the investigation. Included are people from the top leadership of the organisation all the way to the presidential level”, Pynnönen says.       A total of 10 people have been held in connection with the case. The investigation began already in the late summer of 2009.       Pynnönen says that the smuggling, transport, and growing of illegal drugs has continued for years. Millions of euros are believed to have been involved in the business. The street value of the drugs that were confiscated was estimated at EUR 800,000.       The drugs have been smuggled from Central Europe in hiding places built in various vehicles. Smuggling has been done largely by couriers hired abroad, who have not had significant criminal records, or any direct connection with the Hell’s Angels.       The drugs were brought to Helsinki, from where they were distributed throughout the greater Helsinki region, and possibly to other parts of Southern Finland. Pynnönen says that helping in the distribution have been a supporter club with close ties to the Hell’s Angels, as well as so-called “hangaround members”.       Pyynönen sees the bust as a major blow to the illegal drug business in Finland for a while, but he also expects the gap to be filled up as new players enter the field.       “In this respect it is important that plenty of cash and many illegal weapons were confiscated. This always slows the reorganisation of the activities.”


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