The fact that the port of Helsingborg is the gateway for South American cocaine to both Sweden and northern Europe has long been known by Swedish Customs. There have previously been suspicions that staff at the port are working together with the drug traffickers.

Now a man is in custody on suspicion of just that.

"It's serious crime and it's related to what happened at the port during the autumn," says Erik Friberg, head of unit at Swedish Customs' Crime Department South.

Listen to Erik Friberg talk more about the two men and the suspicions in the clip above.

Aggravated drug smuggling

It was on Wednesday that customs and police arrested two men suspected of several forms of extremely serious drug smuggling in the port of Helsingborg. One of them works in the port, something that Helsingborgs Dagblad was the first to report.

The crimes allegedly took place on four occasions in 2020 and on one occasion in the autumn of last year. Swedish Customs would neither confirm nor deny whether the now two suspected men are involved in the record seizures that have been made in the port of Helsingborg since September last year.

After cannabis, cocaine is the most consumed illegal drug in Europe. According to the EU drugs agency EMCDDA, the European cocaine market can be worth up to SEK 150 billion a year.

See pictures from Swedish Customs showing how cocaine is hidden in the cargo of a seizure made earlier this year.

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460 kilos of cocaine were found in maple compartments in two containers in the port of Helsingborg in April. It is one of the largest seizures Swedish Customs has made so far in Sweden. Photo: Swedish Customs