Customs halts smuggling band

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A suspected band of smugglers, all driving cars from Poland, was foiled after a dramatic car chase through southeastern Norway during the holiday weekend. Five cars, all with false license plates, were eventually found loaded with alcoholic beverages.

Customs agents at the border crossing in Svinesund sounded the alarm after the cars passed through their station without stopping for control. That set off a car chase on the E6 highway early Saturday morning that ended only after police in Moss rolled out spiked mats on the road that punctured the smugglers’ tires.

Two of the drivers of the cars then ran off into nearby woods but were later arrested by police assisted by dogs. Another driver escaped and was believed to have been picked up by an accomplice, leaving police with four men in custody plus the contents of all five vehicles seized within the area from Svinesund north to the Moss airport at Rygge.

Police believe they foiled an organized band of smugglers. “All five cars crossed the border around the same time,” Martin Schie of the Østfold Police District told state broadcaster NRK. “They were all full of alcohol and appear to have been packed in a similar manner. All the drivers are from Poland.”

Meanwhile, a 48-year-old man from Croatia faced prison after being caught driving a Swedish-registered truck that was carrying seven tons of beer, a ton of wine and 300 liters of liquor. The stash amounted to tax evasion of NOK 644,000 (USD 86,000). The Croatian driver admitted he’d been offered SEK 9,000 to drive the truck to Oslo.

newsinenglish.no staff