Pubdate: Wed, 17 Mar 2004
Source: Copenhagen Post, The (Denmark)
Copyright: 2004 The Copenhagen Post


A major police sweep of Christiania's notorious Pusher Street resulted
in the arrest early Tuesday of 53 drug dealers and virtual shutdown of
Christiania's main drug drag

"An era in Christiania's history is over. The open marijuana trade is
over. Pusher Street is gone, and it won't be back," said Copenhagen
Police chief inspector Kai Vittrup, after yesterday's high-profile

At 5.00 Tuesday morning, police forces stormed 58 Copenhagen-area
addresses and hauled in 53 individuals on drug charges. 31 were
arrested in Christiania, 21 in Greater Copenhagen, while a single
arrest was made in Koge. The sting was directed at 48 known
Christiania drug dealers and their associates, and 44 were formally
arraigned on drug trafficking charges in Copenhagen Municipal Court.

The aim of the mass arrests was pull out the rug from under Christiania's 
open drug market, Pusher Street: no pushers, no sales. The
street value of the Pusher Street drug trade has been estimated in the 
hundreds of millions of kroner, and it is believed that some
50 kilos of marijuana are moved daily.

After yesterday's mass arrests and raids on several Christiania
squatter hoses, police began physically dismantling several famous
Pusher Street "hash booths," declaring an end to the open free-state
drug trade once and for all.

"Any attempt to resume these activities will be stopped. It will be
very difficult, not to say impossible, for drug pushers to survive out
there," said Vittrup.

The sweep of Pusher Street has been planned since last July. Since 1
August, Copenhagen Police has been working in cooperation with the
National Police Commission's Investigative Support Center in a
top-secret operation to collect information against those arrested.

"I expect that we'll arrest a number of other individuals in the near
future," said Ole Wagner, director of the Copenhagen Police narcotics

During yesterday's raids, police seized a number of effects tied to
the area's marijuana trade, including high-end luxury goods such as
stereo systems, computers, art pieces, and furniture. Police plan to
press the defendants to explain how they were able to afford these
items whilst drawing welfare. 
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