Three tons of stolen goods, which were supposed to be mailed from Iceland to Poland and Lithuania, was confiscated by customs last year. According to police, lax punishments for theft in Iceland make it an attractive destination for organized crime gangs.
From the Smáralind shopping mall in Kópavogur.
Andrés Magnússon, managing director of the Federation of Trade and Services, claimed in an interview with Fréttabladid that thieves of foreign origin account for 80 to 85 percent of the ISK 7 to 9 billion (USD 55 to 70 million, EUR 40 to 52 million) that is lost in theft in Icelandic stores each year.
Detective Adalsteinn Örn Adalsteinsson wrote in police magazine Lögreglumadurinn that Icelandic police officers are not used to dealing with organized crime of this kind. Only a small part of the stolen goods are confiscated. “The benefits are huge and the risks small.”
Adalsteinsson explained that stolen goods are sent out of the country and then sold on street markets in Poland and Lithuania. People have discovered cigarettes with Icelandic warnings, tools marked as the property of Icelandic contractors and perfumes, toiletries and clothing labeled with the logo of Icelandic producers in such markets.
Capital Region Police Chief Stefán Eiríksson said the police are constantly pointing out things that could be improved. “There are some items in legislation that make our jobs more difficult than they have to be.”