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Internationally Wanted Swede Arrested in Spain for Extensive Drug Smuggling

Spanish police, in collaboration with their Swedish counterparts, have successfully apprehended a 32-year-old Swede in Palma, who had been internationally wanted for his involvement in extensive drug smuggling operations to Sweden. This arrest marks a significant breakthrough in the ongoing efforts to combat drug-related crimes within the country.

The Stockholm police had announced in November of last year that they had arrested 21 individuals across various locations in the Stockholm area, all suspected of serious drug offenses, some including weapons crimes. Referred to as Operation Riesen, this operation was the culmination of months of careful reconnaissance and investigation conducted by Serious Crimes at Stockholm City.

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During Operation Riesen, law enforcement authorities seized a substantial amount of illicit substances and weapons. The haul included 42 kilograms of cocaine, 165 kilograms of cannabis, and seven firearms. The seizures took place in different areas, including Stockholm City, the southern suburbs, and various locations in Mälardalen.

The recent arrest of the 32-year-old Swede was made possible through the issuance of a European arrest warrant after he had been remanded in absentia by the Stockholm District Court in late May. This operation required meticulous coordination and planning between the Spanish and Swedish authorities.

The arrest took place in the popular district of Santa Catalina in Palma, on the island of Mallorca, where the suspect was traveling in a luxurious car valued at 140,000 euros (approximately 1.5 million kroner). According to Spanish police, the individual had been leading a lavish but reclusive life in a spacious apartment located in central Palma. A search of his residence resulted in the seizure of various items, including computers and telephones.

While the arrested individual had a previous history with the Swedish justice system, he had not been convicted of any serious drug offenses in the past. However, he had faced charges related to minor drug offenses and traffic violations. Notably, he had been charged with aggravated assault and causing the death of another individual, but was acquitted of those charges.

In a separate legal proceeding, five individuals connected to the 32-year-old were sentenced in Sweden at the end of April. Among them, three received prison sentences of five years each, one received three years, and the fifth individual was sentenced to two years, all for their involvement in serious drug offenses. The convictions stemmed from their roles in receiving and transporting drugs to different addresses in Stockholm. In one instance, they were involved in the pickup of 100 kilograms of cannabis from an industrial area on Ingarö.

Two of the convicted individuals also faced charges of aggravated weapons offenses after police discovered seven firearms, including semi-automatic pistols and automatic carbines, in a duffel bag at the residence of one of them. However, they were subsequently acquitted by the Södertörn District Court due to insufficient evidence to prove their possession or handling of the weapons.

Currently, a total of 18 individuals, including seven women, are suspects in various ongoing cases related to this drug smuggling network. An eight-day trial for the case involving the detained 32-year-old will commence at the Stockholm District Court on June 13. Many of the defendants and suspects have had minimal or no prior legal repercussions. Notably, several of them were even part of the same hockey team located south of Stockholm.

The successful arrest of the internationally wanted Swede in Spain represents a major breakthrough in dismantling this drug smuggling network. The collaborative efforts of Spanish and Swedish authorities demonstrate a commitment to combating organized crime and protecting communities from the harmful effects of drug trafficking. As the trial unfolds, the case will likely shed further light on the intricate workings of the network and the individuals involved.

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