Finnish authorities discover record drug haul

Finland’s customs agency has confiscated a record haul of the drug known as Lakka.

The Customs Crime Prevention Unit’s head official, Hannu Sinkkonen, said on Friday that agents had discovered some 800 litres of Lakka contraband liquid hidden in a summer cottage in a rural area in the southwestern part of the country. He said it was headed for the drug market in metropolitan Helsinki.

Lakka, a solvent, is normally used as a paint and stain remover. The massive stash confiscated had an estimated street sales value of around EUR 1,000,000 and is the largest illegal quantity of the drug ever found.
“The substance was brought into Finland from China via the Vuosaari harbour, from where about 140 litres were already moved into the capital. The rest of it would probably have been transported there as well,” Mr Sinkkonen explained, according to Finland’s YLE news agency.

He added: “In previous years the authorities have confiscated just a few dozen litres annually. Now we have found 860 litres in just one operation; this is a huge find.”

Under Finnish law Lakka is not a narcotic but a medicinal substance. However it is illegal to sell, distribute, prepare, store or import it outside of medicinal regulations. Consumption of Lakka has become popular among young adults in Finland, though even a slight overdose can cause coma or can even be fatal.