Police fanned out to schools and homes in Follo, south of Oslo, early this week and have arrested around 40 youth suspected of being involved in narcotics with ties to criminal gangs in Oslo. The arrests resulted from a lengthy investigation prompted by concerns expressed by parents, school officials and others working with local youth.
Lars Abelsen, investigation leader for the Øst Police District, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the youth arrested are suspected of using and selling drugs, acting as extortionists, making threats and engaging in violence. In some cases young girls are believed to have swapped sex for drugs.
Police said they are especially concerned about youth in Northern Follo, mostly around Oppegård. Several are believed to have ties to criminal organizations and gangs in Oslo.
One 19-year-old, arrested at his home i Oppegård, was charged with narcotics law violations. Most of the others arrested are aged 16 to 20 and live in Oppegård, Ski, Frogn, Vestby, Ås and Enebakk. Police suspect the gangs are also looking beyond Oslo and Follo to Vestfold, Buskerud and Telemark counties, but they remain centralized in the area around the capital.