‘Hash baron’s’ trial gets underway

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Norwegian drug dealer Gjermund Cappelen admitted in a local court this week that he smuggled as much as 30 tons of hash into the country over a 20-year period. He claims he spent all the money he collected on a luxurious lifestyle that eventually caught the attention of tax collectors and police.

The 48-year-old resident of Oslo’s affluent suburb of Bærum denied he had placed money abroad, though. Swiss prosecutors told TV2 this week that they have launched an investigation into Cappelen, who admitted he earlier had invested proceeds from the hash sales in Switzerland. The money now, he claims, is all gone.

“I’m here to make up for what I’ve done,” he told reporters in an impromptu press conference inside the Sandvika courtroom where his trial started on Monday. He’s initially indicted for importing 1.4 tons of hash.

He won’t say who he worked with, other than charging that the high-ranking Oslo police investigator Eirik Jensen was involved. Cappelen claims he paid off Jensen so that he wouldn’t reveal the widespread hash operation. Jensen, known for his work in breaking up gangs and drug dealing, vehemently denies any wrongdoing but was charged and held in custody for the alleged offenses. Jensen claims Cappelen was merely his informant. More than half-a-dozen are indicted in the case in addition to Cappelen.

newsinenglish.no staff