A 49-year-old Norwegian man was shot and killed in what’s being described as a “dramatic” exchange of gunfire between police and alleged drug smugglers at a small harbour in northern Denmark Sunday night. Another Norwegian and a Danish police officer were wounded.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the shooting occurred after Danish police launched a raid on the alleged smugglers in the harbour at Ålbæk, between Frederikshavn and Skagen on the northern tip of Denmark. The Danish police had been working in cooperation with Norwegian police for several months after being tipped about the alleged drug smuggling last autumn.
Shots fired at sea
Three men, all reportedly Norwegian, were sailing into the habour in a high-speed boat known as a RIB and found police and special Danish forces waiting for them. When they tried to escape in the boat, Danish police followed after in another boat, leading to the exchange of fire on the water.
Danish police had been warned by Norwegian colleagues that the suspected drug smugglers from Norway were armed, according to police officials at a press conference in Ålborg Monday morning. All three alleged smugglers were believed to be Norwegian citizens.
One of them, the 49-year-old, was killed. Both he and the two others were reportedly from Arendal in the county of Aust-Agder on Norway’s southern coast.
Leif Vagle of the Agder Police District’s organized crime division told NRK.no that the raid was part of a “cooperation” between the Agder police district and Danish police. He wouldn’t confirm, however, where the three suspects reside.
Two in custody, more suspects
A 36-year-old man also believed to be Norwegian was shot and wounded in the chest but police said his injuries were not life-threatening. Another man, age 27, was arrested and uninjured.
A Danish police officer was also wounded in the raid, which was carried out by Denmark’s Aktionssyrken, consisting of some of the best-trained police officers in Denmark. He was shot twice but was reported to be in stable condition.
The two surviving Norwegians will not be charged with attempted murder, reported Danish website Ekstra Bladet, only drug smuggling, because only the man who was killed had fired at the police. He was reportedly shot four times, in the head and chest.
The case was turned over to the internal affairs department of the Danish police (Den Uafhængigne Politiklagemyndighet) for investigation. Initial reports indicated the Norwegian who was killed fired at police first. His identity had not been confirmed.
Police also seized large quantities of hash, around 250 kilos, during the raid, along with several vehicles and a boat. Police were also investigating involvement of others in the smuggling ring.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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