In a recent international operation, law enforcement authorities of Iceland, the Netherlands and Poland cracked down on an organised drug-related crime group under the name Market ehf., according to Europol. During the operations eight suspects were arrested, three of whom were living in Iceland, RÚV reports.
The law enforcement seized different types of drugs, as well as cash and other assets, such as cars, apartments, and bank accounts, totaling 1.8 million Euros. In Iceland alone the police seized cash and assets totaling 200 million ISK, Vísir reports.
The investigation started in the beginning of this year, and the police has seized up to 80 kilograms of amphetamine and MDMA that could produce about 26,000 ecstasy pills. The organized crime group mainly consists of Polish nationals, and they generated profits through production and trafficking of drugs, as well as money laundering.
“The Icelandic economy is on the rise and of course, the criminals are pursuing the money,” said Zoltan Nagy, head of Europol. The tourism industry is especially booming in Iceland, which may also play a part in drawing criminal elements to the country. “It is one of the main motivations behind this crime. They are also attracted to Iceland because of the prices.”
Production and sales of illegal drugs is one of the biggest problems European law enforcement faces. “This is a complex, powerful and dangerous market that affects society,” Nagy said.
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