The policeman, who was detained December 29 on suspicion of leaking information from the narcotics division to offenders, is suspected of having done so for years, possibly in exchange for payments, RÚV reports.
There have been rumors regarding the issue for years, and suspects have mentioned such leaks during police questioning, according to RÚV.
What triggered the investigation of the case was a recording of a phone conversation between the policeman and the convicted drug offender who was arrested yesterday. That offender has repeatedly been apprehended for drug-related offenses and received a six month suspended sentence in 2011. He was the one who recorded the conversation, RÚV reports.
The conversation suggests that the policeman accept ISK100,000 (USD 766, EUR 704) in exchange for confidential information. The revelation of the phone conversation resulted in the case being referred to the state prosecutor, who launched an investigation.
Thorough house searches have been conducted at the homes of both men and their phone records, as well as bank statements, have been reviewed. RÚV reports it has yet to be proven that the payments were received by the police officer.
This is the first such case within the Icelandic police force. Should it be proven that the police officer received payments in exchange for information, he could face up to six months in prison.
The policeman was released yesterday, although it had previously been announced he would remain in custody until today.
It is suspected than one group of offenders has been profiting from the leaked information.
Police Chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir states that police officers and staff are shocked by the news. She hopes it will not impair the public’s trust toward the police.
Meanwhile, Vísir reports that a man who headed the narcotics division from 2007-2014 and now works in The Netherlands for Europol, was repeatedly informed about rumors regarding a well-connected person within the division. The rumors indicated that a police officer cooperated with criminals.
Vísir suggests the rumors had to do not with the police officer detained December 29, but another one, whose case has never been investigated by the state prosecutor. Still, the former head of the narcotics division told his subordinates that the accusations had been investigated, that they were unsubstantiated, and the matter should not be discussed further. Vísir claims to have information that no formal investigation was ever conducted.
The police officer rumored to have cooperated with criminals is still working in the police department, but has been transferred three times between departments in past months.