Drug smuggling into Sweden is more extensive than previous studies have shown

Significantly more drugs than previous studies have shown are probably smuggled to Sweden every year. This is shown by the police’s review of the communication in Encrochat. The report also shows that both authorities and companies are exposed to unauthorized influence.

Encrochat was the encrypted communication platform that the French police had access to in 2020 and that the Swedish police could take part in through international police cooperation via Europol.

The police authority has now compiled the material from Encrochat that has links to Sweden.

The analysis of the Encrochat material confirms the police’s intelligence picture that drug trafficking and conflicts over drugs are the underlying cause of many violent settlements in the form of shootings and explosions.

– Much of what we have been able to read in the chats we have known before and we can state that the police intelligence service makes correct assessments of crime in Sweden. But we can also state that the drug trade has grown significantly larger in recent years, says Linda H Staaf, head of the intelligence unit at the police’s national operational department, Noa.

Over 100 tons of drugs per year

The communication from Encrochat shows that drug smuggling is conducted on an almost industrial scale. However, the material analyzed includes communication for a limited period and is based on a source (Encrochat). With these circumstances in mind, the police estimate that more than 100 tonnes of drugs per year are smuggled to Sweden *.

The smuggling takes place mainly through road transport where the drugs are hidden in legal cargo and the final destination is mainly the big cities Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, but also several medium-sized cities. The Öresund Bridge is considered by users in Encrochat to be the most common smuggling route into Sweden, but other border crossings have also been discussed.

– The police’s access to encrypted communication between criminals would increase our ability to prevent, detect and prevent serious organized crime. It is also obvious that the judiciary is not dimensioned for the extensive drug market we have in Sweden. It is also clear that both the private sector and the public sector need to increase their ability to withstand unauthorized influence, says Linda H Staaf.

Unauthorized influence

The communication on Encrochat also shows that criminal actors exercise unauthorized influence and that criminals try to get in touch with politicians, with officials in public administration and with officials in the judiciary to protect or promote criminal activities in various ways.

According to the chatters, the private sector is more vulnerable than the public sector. The most common is that criminals try to influence lawyers in different ways and in the banking sphere, several criminal actors have contacts that help them commit various types of crimes, such as fraud or employees who accept bribes to grant bank loans.