Report: Increased threat from foreign crime in Norway

Norwegian news in english: Norway could become a transit country for criminal networks, according to a new report from the police.

The report highlights threats from several foreign criminal networks. The report identifies five specific threats that pose a serious risk to Norway, Kripos (Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service) stated in a press release.

«We see a serious situation where Norway could become a transit country for narcotics, and both the police, Customs, and other societal actors must collaborate and work systematically to counteract this development,» said Eivind Borge, head of the investigation department at Kripos.

At the same time, the report highlights the threat from Swedish, Moroccan, Albanian-speaking, and Lithuanian criminal networks.

«These are networks that we see have a transnational perspective, operating in Norway. Several of these have direct contact with drug cartels in South America and supply Norwegian criminal networks with narcotics. They are highly professionalized and provide various types of services in the criminal value chain. We also see that several of the networks have control over large parts of this value chain themselves,» said Borge.

Expecting an increase in Swedish crime Kripos estimates that Swedish criminals will continue to expand their operations in several places in Norway.

«The extreme violence perpetrated by criminals in Swedish drug networks is calculated, transboundary, and sold as commissioned tasks in criminal environments. Actors from drug criminal networks and gang environments in Sweden are linked to commissioned tasks involving violence and deprivation of liberty in Norway,» wrote Kripos.

They expect that Swedish criminals with significant potential for violence will continue to be active on Norwegian soil in 2024. They highlight the Swedish-Kurdish Foxtrot network, which has connections to several police districts in Norway.

«Norwegian police are aware of several threat cases related to actors with connections to the Foxtrot network. Broken agreements, failed drug operations, and personal conflicts are recurring triggering factors for threats and violent assignments.»

Challenging customs work In a few weeks, the police will release their annual threat assessment, where they will provide further details on how the threat from organized crime in Europe has never been higher, Kripos further informed.

«This is partly due to increased professionalization, cross-border cooperation, and increasingly complex business models,» said Ole Jørgen Arvesen, head of the Department of Joint Operational Services.

Last year was a record year for cocaine seizures in Norway. The Norwegian Customs Administration is at the forefront of combating smuggling, emphasized Customs Director Øystein Børmer.

«A trend with Norway as a transit country, especially by sea, will pose new and significant challenges for us in the Customs Administration. Norway has the world’s second-longest coastline, making this a very demanding control task for us,» he said.