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Rise in Swedish gold bars and cash smuggling at Kastrup Airport

Swedish Gold Bars and Cash Smugglers on the Rise at Kastrup

Notable rising trends at Kastrup Airport located in Copenhagen, bring an undesirable spotlight onto Swedish expats.

Money Laundering Couriers from the Cold?

The characteristic chill of the North couldn’t obscure the heat packed in the bags of two Swedish citizens, taken into custody for carrying gold bars and hefty sums of money in their luggage on a seemingly calm Thursday. They were following an increasingly familiar path, with about 20 Swedes sentenced for similar crimes within the past year – a tempting new career for fast cash.

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The Danish Dogged Persistence Pays Off

The contraband sniffing dogs of Danish customs played no small part in catching the culprits. The investigators observed that the modus operandi of all those apprehended pointed to a pattern: they were all bound for Turkey with their loot in diverse currencies. An intensive follow-up revealed many of them had received Swedish citizenship after escaping the Syrian war during the refugee wave of 2014-2016.

Return to Sender – A Notable Pattern

An intriguing aspect of this rising crime wave is the possibility of large sums of money leaving Sweden, passing through several countries only to end up back in Sweden. Jakob Kindt, commissioner and head of the Ecocrime Agency’s police operative unit in Malmö, hinted that we might be seeing money laundering on a large scale right before our very eyes.


The peculiar travel itinerary indicating a return of funds to Sweden, the recurrence of Swedish citizens, and the use of gold bars as a means of value transfer, highlights an intricate and potentially large-scale money laundering operation. With these arrests at Kastrup airport, the Swedish authorities are now unraveling an intriguing side of Syrian expatriates’ journeys that certainly warrant our attention.

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