Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jul 2004
Source: Copenhagen Post, The (Denmark)
Copyright: 2004 The Copenhagen Post


Authorities confiscate far less quantities of controlled substances
than their Nordic colleagues

Danish police and customs officials confiscate 40 percent less the
amount of illegally smuggled drugs as their Nordic colleagues, and 30
percent less than Sweden, measured per capita.

Ritzau news bureau reports that, based on figures from 1999 to 2003,
while Norwegian officials seized 2.43 kilos of heroin, cocaine and
amphetamines per 10,000 residents during the four-year period, Danish
officials seized just 1.46 kilos. Sweden, by comparison, confiscated
2.12 kilos.

The director of the Copenhagen Police narcotics division, Ole Wagner,
had no immediate explanation for the dramatic disparity in drug
seizures between the three Nordic countries.

'Some of the drugs seized in Norway and Sweden are substances we've
allowed to pass through Denmark. Danish customs officials could easily
have confiscated it, but it would be unwise in the context of a larger
investigation aimed at fighting organised drug crime. It's much
smarter to go after the supplier and the end customer,' said Wagner.

'Although there are minor variations, the drug abuse pattern in all
three Nordic countries is roughly identical. I can't explain the
difference,' Wagner told Ritzau.

Responding to the study, Danish People's Party MP Peter Skaarup, said
his party would demand border controls later this year in Parliament.

'The trend must be considered as a consequence of the Schengen
Agreement, which Denmark fully implemented in 2001,' said Skaarup, who
will request an exemption to the agreement allowing for check points
at the nation's borders. Sweden has a similar exemption already in
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin