UPDATED: Police in Oslo announced Tuesday that they had arrested around 90 people over the past three months, in connection with an investigation into a widespread criminal network. The network allegedly recruited young people by force, to sell narcotics.
Police reported that they had discovered a hash depot in a forested area at Søndre Nordstrand on Oslo’s south side. They set up surveillance cameras, with several of those photographed among those later arrested. Around 25 were arrested last week alone on narcotics charges.
All those charged are aged 19 to 25 years. The four oldest are charged with violations of narcotics laws and face up to 10 years in prison.
“They’ve recruited children as young as 14 to carry out sales of narcotics and violence,” John Roger Lund, leader of the Oslo Police District’s eastern region. “It results in fights and we don’t want to see these youngsters become couriers.” He said the crime network’s recruiting targets are often “rootless youth” who lack parental guidance, “but there are also young boys who see others earn money off this, and need income themselves, even to finance their own use of narcotics.”
Grete Lien Metlid, chief of major crime cases handled by the Oslo Police District, said at a press conference on Monday afternoon that threats and violence are used to protect the revenue stream for the network. “Our goal is to weaken these organized networks and the recruiting of youngsters.”