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article imageEx-Norway cop gets 21 years for helping smuggle tons of hash

By AFP     Sep 18, 2017 in Crime

A Norwegian court on Monday sentenced a former top police officer to 21 years in prison for allowing nearly 14 tonnes of hashish to be smuggled into the country over nearly a decade.

Eirik Jensen, who was in charge of fighting organised crime, was given the country's maximum sentence after his conviction for ties to organised crime, in particular the infamous drug trafficker Gjermund Cappelen, widely known as the "hash baron".

The extremely rare case of corruption has dominated headlines in Norway, which international rankings routinely list as one of the world's least corrupt nations.

"It is unique in Norwegian criminal law that a police officer with such elevated responsibilities as Jensen's in the fight against drugs was himself so heavily involved in criminal activity for years and deliberately contributed to the worst drug crime ever seen in Norwegian case law," the Oslo city court said.

Eirik Jensen arriving for his trial in Oslo on Monday
Eirik Jensen arriving for his trial in Oslo on Monday
Heiko JUNGE, NTB Scanpix/AFP

The judges ruled that Jensen helped Cappelen smuggle 13.9 tonnes of hashish into Norway between 2004 and 2013 in exchange for bribes of at least 667,800 kroner (72,000 euro, $85,000), which will be seized against his assets.

During this period Jensen and Cappelen sent each other 1,500 text messages, including language in code about police activities, according to investigators.

Jensen, 60, pleaded not guilty and claimed the texts were a routine exchange with an informant. His lawyer said he was likely to appeal.

When Cappelen was arrested for drug trafficking, he provided information about Jensen's role to investigators in the hopes of having his punishment reduced. The two men are now sworn enemies.

Cappelen, 50, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and had 825 million kroner in assets seized.

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