Icelandic authorities played a key role in a coordinated international investigation which has dismantled an organized crime group involved in drug production, drug trafficking, and money laundering, RÚV reports. The investigation was a collaboration between the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Iceland, the Netherlands, and Poland, with the support of Europol and Eurojust. The results of the investigation were revealed in a press conference held in Iceland yesterday.
Icelandic authorities have seized around 80 kilos (176 lbs) of amphetamine and MDMA and ISK 200 million (USD 1.9 million/EUR 1.6 million) in cash and other assets in the investigation since the beginning of the year. The substances seized are enough to produce 26,000 ecstasy pills. This unusually high value of asset seizure is the result of simultaneous financial investigations targeting the proceeds of crime.
Three Polish nationals are also in custody of Icelandic police as part of the investigation. They are believed to be connected to a Polish organized crime organization with operations in Iceland.
Zoltan Nagy, head of Europol’s investigative division for organized crime, believes the foreign organized crime group is attracted to Iceland partly due to its economic growth and the steady stream of tourists. “The Icelandic economy is on the rise and of course criminals are pursuing that money,” he stated.
Nagy says the production and trafficking of drugs is the biggest issue facing European police, and cooperation between police forces across borders plays a key role in combating organized crime.