None of the four individuals arrested during the biggest cocaine bust in Icelandic history has a criminal record, Vísir reports. A lumber dealer and a former eSports team manager are among the suspects that were arrested this summer. The case will be filed in court tomorrow.
100 kg of cocaine hidden within a timber shipment
In August of this year, the police confiscated 100 kg of cocaine, which had been hidden inside seven logs included within a timber shipment to Iceland. The drugs were planted inside the logs in Brazil before being shipped to Iceland via the Netherlands.
As reported by Vísir, the Icelandic police got wind of the shipment in connection to an investigation into organised crime and subsequently notified police authorities in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam police replaced the cocaine with a fake substance before the container was shipped to Iceland. The estimated street value of the drugs is ISK 2 billion ($14 million / €13 million).
The indictment states that the container was shipped from customs to Borgartún in Reykjavík where it stood unmoved for two days. The container was then transported to Hafnarfjörður, where the cocaine were removed, packaged, and delivered to a third party for distribution and sale. The police subsequently seized the cocaine inside a vehicle on Vefarastræti in Mosfellsbær.
The suspects have been charged with engaging in organised criminal activity, attempted large-scale narcotics offences, and money laundering. The case will be filed in the Reykjavík District Court tomorrow.
No meaningful criminal record
As noted by Vísir, none of the suspects possesses a criminal record of note. One of the defendants is a timber dealer in his sixties, whose company, Hús og Harðviður, was used to launder money. The other suspects are in their twenties and thirties, and include a former team manager of Iceland’s eFootball national team.
The district attorney has motioned for several items, believed to have been purchased with ill-gotten gains, to be seized: including a Rolex watch, a Lexus, almost 100 logs of timber, a Volkswagen jeep (believed to have been purchased for the transportation of drugs), and a number of smartphones, among other things.
During a raid on the suspects’ homes, the police found quantities of drugs, including MDMA, marijuana, and cannabis.
Cash deposits that could not be accounted for
All of the four suspects are charged with money laundering and are believed to have, for some time leading up to the arrests on August 4, received, stored, converted, or gained from profits resulting from criminal offences. The police believe that millions of Icelandic króna were stored in the suspects’ bank accounts, for which they could not account. In most instances, the money was traced to cash deposits.
As reported by Vísir, the defendants are expected to receive lengthy sentences. Recently, two men received 12-year sentences – the maximum punishment for such crimes – for extensive drug offences, having imported narcotics to Iceland via a salt spreader.
According to Chief Superintendent Grímur Grímsson, the recent cocaine busts may have led to an increase in drug-trafficking through Keflavík Airport, which have been on the rise over the past weeks and months.