Norwegian police reported on Monday that they’d launched several narcotics raids in Øvre Romerike, northeast of Oslo, late last week and arrested 74 persons. They also seized drugs, weapons and stolen property during the three-day operation.
Police said at a press conference that the raids were a coordinated operation by police stations in Ullensaker, Nes, Nannestad, Gjerdrum, Hurdal and Eidsvoll. Several of those arrested are under the age of 18, while most are between 18 and 23.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the young ages of the suspects prompted police to call in Norway’s juvenile authority Barnevernet. The police were also cooperating with local drug abuse treatment centers and local psychiatric care units.
The drugs seized in a variety of residences around Romerike included hash, cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines. Police also found smuggled liquor and cash, and the discovery of stolen goods was said to have helped solve a recent robbery.
The 74 persons arrested were charged with narcotics possession and use and drug sales. A total of 20 persons were arrested in Eidsvoll and Hurdal, including four women and 16 men, aged 16 to 48. Another 14 were arrested in Ullensaker and 24 in Nannestad and Gjerdrum, communities not far from Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen.
Police said their goal was to break up narcotic circles in the area and prevent further recruitment. “It’s important to us that the offenders now get follow-up help and that their drug careers end,” Gunnar Foseid of the Nes sheriff’s office told reporters. “We want them to get help, so we don’t see them again in later drug busts.”