The drug problem in Sweden - from the police point of view


Recent history: from the 1940s to the last decade
Campaign of police measures
The development of police measures during 1969
The situation at the beginning of 1970
Results of the national campaign
Experience gained by the police
International aspects of the illicit drug trade
The role of the police in counteracting the misuse of drugs


Author: Esbjörn ESBJÖRNSON
Pages: 15 to 21
Creation Date: 1971/01/01

The drug problem in Sweden - from the police point of view

Esbjörn ESBJÖRNSON Head of Division, National Swedish Police Board

On 17 December 1968, a meeting of all the regional chiefs of police in Sweden was convened in Stockholm and presided over by the National Police Commissioner. At the close of the meeting, it was decided that the efforts of the Swedish police against illicit traffic in drugs should be given the highest priority. The Swedish Government was notified of the decision and given information regarding developments in illicit drug traffic. As a result of this, on 28 December 1968, the Government approved a ten-point programme for increasing public efforts against the misuse of drugs.

Recent history: from the 1940s to the last decade

The background for these drastic measures was in brief as follows. From the end of the 1940s there had been some abuse of drugs in Sweden. Until about 1960, this misuse concerned almost entirely central stimulants such as amphetamine, phenmetrazine, etc., which were already classified as narcotics in Sweden. About 1960, marijuana, and later even cannabis resin, began to appear in the illicit traffic along with the central stimulants. Until around 1965, the misuse was on a relatively restricted scale, but in the middle of the 1960s it flared up and began to assume very disturbing proportions. The years 1965-1968 were accompanied by an explosive development in the use of narcotics.

In 1965 every fifth male in the custody of the criminal investigation department in Stockholm was found to take central stimulants intravenously. In 1966 this was the case with every fourth one, and in 1967 with every third one. In 1968, nearly every other person arrested took central stimulants intravenously. In other respects as well, various circumstances pointed to increased abuse. Ever younger people began using drugs. From having been a relatively isolated phenomenon in the big cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, abuse spread practically throughout the country. Almost all of Sweden's 119 local police districts came into contact with the problem-from the Kiruna police district, north of the Arctic circle, to Trelleborg police district in the extreme south. The forms of misuse became increasingly more dangerous; at first, the central stimulants in tablet form were taken orally, then the tendency gradually spread of crushing the tablets, dissolving them in water, filtering the solution, and taking it as an intravenous injection. After a rather short time the tablets were no longer used, since the effective constituent in the tablets was smuggled into the country in pure form from various countries in Europe. The injection method is still in use. Due to the lack of hygiene, inoculation hepatitis became common among addicts. Marijuana disappeared, and was wholly replaced by cannabis resin. Quite a few cannabis smokers continued to opium. LSD began to appear-even though at first it was sporadic, and primarily it was the cannabis smokers who went over to LSD.

This was, then, the situation at the end of 1968, when first the police and shortly thereafter the public at large decided that something must be done, if a catastrophe was to be avoided. What course of action was decided upon?

Campaign of police measures

Police efforts against the illicit trade, which provided the addicts with drugs, were given highest priority. The number of police personnel involved in the effort was increased from somewhat over 100 officers to about 750 of a total CID force in Sweden which amounted to approximately 2,500 men. This increase was made possible by suspending less important operations, by getting CID officers with indoors jobs out into the field, and by transferring officers in uniform to plainclothes duties.

The importance of being active in the field was emphasized-investigation activity would be the focal point of the operations. The aim was to actively track down profiteers in the illicit traffic. It was no longer possible to wait passively for offences to be reported. The main objective was to apprehend the profiteers in the drug trade-the financiers, smugglers and pushers.

It was stressed that the operations were to be centrally co-ordinated. These were to be carried out along the same general lines in each of the 119 local police districts under the direction of the National Police Board. All information throughout the country was to be made available at a central source-the Board's Narcotics Division. Accordingly, every intelligence "tip" was to be registered both in the police district where an offence was suspected, and in the central narcotics register. The function of this register was to compile information for the entire country and-when two or more "tips" from different parts of the country appeared to coincide-to see that the districts concerned were informed, so that an investigation of the case in question could be co-ordinated.

The basic ideas-the underlying philosophy or strategy-of what was by Swedish standards a massive attack on a single sector of crime were as follows :

  1. If the police could choke off or simply prevent all entry of illegal drugs into Sweden (all drugs on the illegal market have been smuggled into the country), it should be possible to stem an increase in the number of offenders. As a result, the curative organizations could enjoy a breathing space to deal with those who were already addicts-without having to worry about new cases-and thus achieve a gradual decrease in the number of addicts.

  2. If an increase in the number of offenders was stemmed, or the number actually reduced, then there should be a reduction in crimes committed by addicts in order to obtain money for drugs, e.g. thefts and certain types of fraud.

The ten-point programme which was approved by the Government shortly after the police had sounded the alarm aimed at the following :

  1. Strengthening the resources of the police and customs to cope with the drug problem;

  2. Closer co-operation between the police and customs, both nationally and internationally;

  3. The right of the police, subsequent to a court decree, to use wire-tapping to uncover those who profit from the misuse of drugs by financing, smuggling and "pushing" or peddling, on a grand scale;

  4. Stiffening the maximum punishment from four to six years for serious narcotics violations;

  5. Improvement and co-ordination of social detection activities, emergency treatment and after-care;

  6. Rendering legislation regarding treatment more effective;

  7. Summoning a conference of youth organizations in order to disseminate information among young people concerning the dangers involved in using drugs;

  8. Information to the public in general concerning the dangers of drug abuse;

  9. Increased Swedish activity at the international level-above all, in the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs-in order to secure international legislation in the matter of psychotropic substances, primarily amphetamine, phenmetrazine etc.,

  10. Creation of a joint committee with, among others, the heads of the National Police Board, the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor and Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, the National Social Welfare Board, the National Board of Customs and the National Board of Education.

The joint committee was formed in January 1969, and it drafted general lines for its activities. In February of the same year a conference was held with the youth organizations which received financial assistance for their information functions among young people. The operation of the information programme began during the autumn, 1969. During the spring, 1969, the joint committee released a collection of facts about narcotics ("Fakta om narkotika") which was disseminated among the public. At the same time, an advertising campaign was conducted in the newspapers concerning the risks in the misuse of drugs. In April 1969, the maximum penalty for serious narcotics offences was increased from four to six years, and at the same time, the police were allowed to wire-tap-subsequent to a court decision in each individual instance-in order to uncover perpetrators of serious narcotics offences. In January 1970, Sweden participated in the first special session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Geneva, and gave its firm support to the Draft Protocol on Psychotropic Substances.

The development of police measures during 1969

Let us return to the police measures decided in the middle of December 1968. They commenced on 1 January 1969. What happened then-how did activities progress during 1969, and what was the situation in the beginning of 1970? What observations have the Swedish police made in combating illicit drug traffic?

It must again be pointed out that the purpose of these measures was to apprehend those who profited at the expense of offenders, e.g. financiers, smugglers and pushers. The individual addict offenders were not considered to be a police problem-they should above all receive treatment and not punishment. Taking care of them was a task for the social and medical agencies.

The police strategy was publicized quite openly in the Press, as well as on radio and television. The question of an "open" or "concealed" start had been carefully deliberated. This "open" approach was chosen since it was essential to inform the general public of the seriousness of the situation and of police activities in order to obtain their support in the form of "tips", information etc.; this objective would not have been achieved with a "concealed" start. Of course, the profiteers in the illicit trade would be warned, but they would have very soon learned about the campaign, even if it were a "concealed" start. Under these circumstances, the "open" method was to be preferred.

The intensive publicity campaign and the massive deployment of police had an immediate shock effect on the illicit traffic. The open traffic pursued in some places disappeared and presumably smuggling ceased. It became difficult for addicts to obtain drugs, and prices rose-the illicit drug market reacts just like any other market; shortage of the commodity traded leads to a rise in prices. Stocks on hand were "frozen" because the pushers would not release the drugs in stock, for fear of discovery and seizure.

In February and March 1969, doctors reported a growing tendency for addicts to volunteer for treatment. Also some doctors said that the addicts remitted for care did not appear to be so broken-down as previously, i.e. it seemed as though they were compelled to economize with their supply of drugs, and therefore, did not degenerate so quickly.

The police, however, suspected that this favourable start of the campaign was only temporary, and that the illicit market was reorganizing to conduct its business with a more "sophisticated" approach than before. This suspicion proved to be correct. Spring was accompanied by an increased supply of narcotics. Prices fell and the number of seizures rose. In addition, summer was approaching and would be accompanied by the traditional influx of "professional students" and "international vagabonds". It is known that many of these finance their stay in Sweden by smuggling drugs, which are then sold in the country.

The summer was thus characterized by a large volume of trade in drugs-both classical and synthetic drugs, i.e. central stimulants and similar substances. For a time, it seemed as if the police had lost their grip after the favourable development in the spring.

The situation, however, improved during the autumn. As the weather became colder and the days darker, the "professional students" etc. disappeared taking with them the entire "small trade" that was irritating and time-consuming for the police. Also the police by this time had succeeded in working itself through the outer echelons of a number of the leading drug syndicates-both those dealing in cannabis and opium and those concerned with amphetamine, phenmetrazine etc. -and could now move in Sweden against the key figures of a large number of syndicates who were operating in the country.

By October-November, the organization of the market had been fairly well plotted. We knew its structure and were sure of who were its most important figures. We were successful in taking action against many of them. As a result there was again a shortage of narcotics-most marked in the case of central stimulants. The prices again rose and at the end of the year were 10-20 times above the prices quoted in December 1968. The quality of the drugs, still being sold in spite of everything, was often poor; adulterated, as well as completely false products were often sold, instead of the pure substances which had been available previously.

Having gradually worked our way to the top of many syndicates, we also had by the end of the year a fairly good picture of the routes by which drugs reached Sweden. We had already obtained such precision about the cases of trafficking in cannabis and opium earlier, but now we became aware of the origins and spread of central stimulants, to an extent far greater than before.

The situation at the beginning of 1970

There is every indication that the number of addicts is now constant. It is difficult to determine if there has been a decline, but at least there has been no increase. Above all, the police, doctors and schools are able to ascertain that the type of young people previously starting with drugs out of curiosity or mischievousness have now disappeared. It is thought that three reasons contribute to this.

To begin with, the shortage of drugs means that the established addicts are no longer willing to offer them to inquisitive beginners. They are forced to economize with what is available. Secondly, prices are so high that persons without an established need of drugs do not regard the experience as worth the price. Thirdly, it is no longer "in" to try drugs; in this case, public information dissemination against drugs has surely played its part, just as has the more moderate and objective debate that has finally started.

It can also be established that the geographical spread of this "infection" has been contained. At the end of 1968, the misuse of drugs was spread throughout the country. At the beginning of 1970, it has again been pushed into the metropolitan areas from which it originally spread (about 1965).

There is one disturbing indication. LSD and heroin have begun to appear. It is true that LSD was found earlier, but now it seems as if this drug is becoming more common. Above all, users of cannabis appear increasingly to be switching to this drug. Cases of heroin had not occured before and the authorities now feel that the market is being tested as an outlet for this drug.

Despite the fact that the increase in narcotics offences has been stemmed, it must be observed, however, that there is still organized smuggling to and distribution of narcotics in Sweden. Demand for narcotic drugs is still so great, and prices are consequently so high, that Sweden constitutes a very attractive market for the selling of drugs on a large scale. Although a number of well-organized smuggling and sales organizations have been uncovered during 1969, the police are aware that there are other such organizations operating on the Swedish market. It may also be mentioned that due to the great financial profits expected from the illicit drug traffic, new organizations are ready to work themselves into the market, as soon as a share of the market becomes available, as a result of the uncovering of one organization. As an example of the size of the profits, it can be mentioned that a single organization for as short a time as six months in 1969 illegally exported from Sweden to West Germany a sum amounting to approximately 1 million Swedish kronor (200,000 U.S. dollars) in payment for drugs smuggled into Sweden. The total value of annual outflow amounts to several million kronor. To give another example, it can be stated that amphetamine and phenmetrazine cost about 100 Swedish kronor (20 U.S. dollars) per kilo at wholesale sources on the Continent (above all Italy); "on the street" in Stockholm the price is-at a low estimate-100,000 Swedish kronor (20,000 U.S. dollars). Sometimes the price goes up to 250,000 Swedish kronor (50,000 U.S. dollars) per kilo.

Results of the national campaign

In spite of the fact that there is considerable smuggling directed at Sweden, the use of narcotics can, nevertheless, be held at a constant level (although this level is altogether too high).

The first basic idea of police strategy with which the campaign began was, thus, realized, viz. to cut off the supply of drugs so that the number of offenders is held constant.

What is the situation as regards the second principle : to achieve a reduction in the general crime rate by lowering the number of crimes committed by addicts in order to get money for drugs? To see this question in the right light, it must be kept in mind that Sweden during the whole of the 1960s has had an annual increase in crime of approx. 10 per cent-for some years the increase has been as great as 16 per cent. If the tentative figures of crime statistics for 1969 are compared with the corresponding figures for 1968, they indicate that the total crime for 1969 is at the same level as for 1968-even a few per cent lower. Thus, for the first time during the 1960s, a stagnation of the total crime rate has taken place.

Certain crimes-primarily crimes of violence-have sharply increased. Some other portion of the total crime rate, accordingly, must have declined-but which?

A closer examination indicates that thefts of various kinds have decreased. Car thefts have declined by approx. 5 per cent. Thefts from or out of cars have declined by about 9 per cent. Thefts in shops and department stores have dropped by more than 10 per cent.

Even if the figures are preliminary and, accordingly to be taken with some reservation, statistics do indicate a decrease in crime in certain areas. Those crimes which have declined are the typical offences committed by drug addicts in order to obtain money for narcotics. It is then plausible to conclude that it is the police action which has been the cause for the decline, since no other factor has arisen during 1969 which can explain the phenomenon. If such is the case-which is highly probable-then the second basic idea in the strategy of the police has been realized.

Experience gained by the police

Those organizations of the illicit traffic which operate in Sweden-particularly those dealing with central stimulants-are extremely well-organized. At the top of every organization there is always a sole leader. He has under him a number of lieutenants who handle their part of the organization.

The leader does not take a personal part in the illegal drug operations. This is taken care of entirely by the lieutenants. Often the leader is engaged in activities of an innocent nature used as a camouflage for his real operations. In addition to the illicit drug traffic, he also deals in other illegal activities-in particular those which will bring in large sums of money quickly : bank and post-offices robberies, safe breakings etc. He does not carry out these crimes himself. He only provides the plans for them; however, it is he who takes the profit, which is often used to buy new drugs from abroad. He always has contacts with a major supplier of narcotics who is safely located abroad out of reach of the Swedish police.

Under the lieutenants are a pyramid of sub-suppliers or go-betweens, each handling smaller and smaller quantities of drugs as the pyramid is descended toward the base. Only a very few of the members of the organization are addicts. Evidence indicates that there are many female members. The various elements of the pyramid rarely know those in the organization who are more than one level above or below them. The leader is practically unknown to all except his lieutenants.

The organizations are thus very professionally built-up. Their manner of operating is also professional : checks to expose any shadowing are routine, passwords and codes are common, personal meetings are avoided, "letter boxes" of various kinds are used, eavesdropping on the police radio network is made use of, etc.

How then do the drugs make their way to Sweden? First of all, it should be pointed out that all illicit drugs are smuggled into the country. No illicit domestic cultivation or manufacture is possible. In the case of legally produced narcotics, control is so strict that none can leak out on the illegal market. Earlier there was some illegal production on a small scale, but now-as far as we know-it has completely disappeared. All narcotics are thus smuggled in.

The "classical" drugs follow the classical routes : from the Middle East or other parts of Asia either directly to Sweden or via reloading on the Continent. On several occasions, smuggling has been attempted using the air route over the Soviet Union; but as some such attempts have been discovered, for example on flight stops at Tashkent, which resulted in severe punishment, it appears that this route is no longer used. The distribution routes are not quite certain in the case of LSD, but it is at least clear that most of it seems to come from the United States, primarily California. England, Holland and Denmark appear to be important links in the transit trade.

How central stimulants, classified as narcotics in Scandinavia, are smuggled into Sweden is probably less well-known outside of Scandinavia, since most countries do not regard them as narcotics. As far as we know, all central stimulants in Sweden are of European origin. So far, nothing seems to have come from the United States or Canada. Central stimulants come to Sweden only in their pure form. Tablets, which were previously used, are now completely out of fashion. This is because such illicit drugs are exclusively taken by intravenous injection. Tablets are more difficult to dissolve than the pure substance. Furthermore, the pure substance takes up less room, weighs less, and thus is easier to smuggle than the corresponding amount of active agent in the tablet form.

Central stimulants smuggled into Sweden during recent years have originated almost exclusively in Italy-mainly northern Italy. The substances have been produced by bona fide and well-reputed firms, which generally sell their products via wholesale companies. These wholesalers in turn sell them to distributors, who sell them to, among others, druggists and chemical companies. It is the distributors that are the weak link. For the producers and wholesalers the substances in question-primarily amphetamines and phenmetrazine-are not such big business. For the agents of the whole-salers it is another story. They are contacted by smugglers from northern Europe, and can make big profits by selling to them. It was in this way that a smuggler of Finnish nationality succeeded in acquiring over 150 kilos of amphetamines which in time made its way to Sweden. The price on the Swedish market was approximately 15 million Swedish kronor (3 million U.S. dollars). (Later, this particular smuggler was sentenced in Sweden to six years in prison.)

After the substance is acquired in Italy, it is brought-often as ordinary goods-by rail to the northern parts of the European continent where the substance is taken over by major wholesalers. Each consignment normally amounts to 40-50 kilos. Special machines are used to put this amount into capsules, each containing 0.3 grammes of the pure substance. Until now reloading has taken place in the Hamburg-Hanover area, but there is much to suggest that now Holland, and perhaps Belgium, should be included as "stations" on the smuggling route.

When the consignment has been put into capsules (approx. 3,000 capsules per kilo of pure substance) the large wholesaler informs a number of the gang leaders in Sweden that a shipment is for sale. The gang leaders then place their orders-most often 15,000-25,000 capsules (corresponding to around 200,000-300,000 tablets) at a time. The large wholesaler engages a smuggler to take the consignment to Sweden. A common way of smuggling is to conceal the drugs on the water tanks of the toilets in a sleeper, whereupon the smuggler sits in a different coach. The drugs remain in their same location for a time after passing the Swedish border. When the train stops at a small station the smuggler takes the consignment and gets out, being met by a "lieutenant" who hands over the purchase-sum and takes charges of the drugs. The smuggler returns with the money by the next train to the major wholesaler.

The smugglers do not always choose the shortest route from the Continent to Sweden. In one extreme case, the drugs were carried from the Continent via Denmark to Norway. Then the route continued up the whole length of Norway north of the Arctic Circle to the northernmost part of the Scandinavian peninsula, and subsequently, southwards over Finland. Finally, the consignment was taken from southern Finland over the Baltic to Stockholm.

International aspects of the illicit drug trade

The Swedish police have encountered one major difficulty in international collaboration. This concerns the differences in existing legislation concerning psychotropic substances. Central stimulants, for example, are classified as narcotics in Scandinavia, and come under the same legislation as opium, morphine, heroin, etc. This is, however, not generally the case outside of Scandinavia, and, above all, not in West Germany and Italy which are the most "strategic" countries for Sweden. (In the Federal Republic of Germany, amphetamines are subject to control but this is not so with phenmetrazine, and the smugglers take advantage of this loophole by only carrying the latter drug through West Germany.) This discrepancy in legislation renders international co-operation difficult for the Swedish police. The police, for example, in the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy, are of course willing to co-operate but are forced to point to the lack of effective legislation. Effective criminal proceedings, therefore, cannot be taken against persons who are guilty of a crime in Sweden, but are not in the country from where they came. The most notable example of this is a West German citizen (here referred to as P). P had previously lived in Sweden and was found guilty of a narcotics violation (he is not himself a drug addict) and deported. During his stay in Sweden, P organized an extensive contact network with Swedish gang leaders. For several years he has now been residing in West Germany, bringing phenmetrazine from Italy, repacking it in northern Germany and having it smuggled into Sweden. A number of those smuggling for him, as well as contact men, have been caught and sentenced in Sweden-some of them to the maximum punishment of six years. Despite this, he has remained active. The Swedish police have provided their West German counterparts with all details concerning his activities, but the West German police cannot take any action against him due to absence of legislation. * The only effect that the activities of the Swedish police seem to have had is that this trafficker appears to be preparing to transfer his operations to Holland, if it should become apparent that the Swedish diplomatic efforts to bring about changes in West German legislation are likely to prove successful.

The problem created by the absence of equal control legislation is clearly seen in the fact that in Sweden, P would doubtlessly be sentenced to six years in prison (and indeed as the case concerns several counts of the same crime, the sentence would be increased to eight years) while in the Federal Republic of Germany he can operate freely.

The Draft Protocol on Psychotropic Substances is to be considered by a plenipotentiary conference within the UN at the beginning of 1971. Negotiations will no doubt take some time, and thereafter the time needed for ratification will also have to be considered; all in all, then, in about four or five years the Protocol will come into force. And then, subsequently, a long period will pass for the necessary national laws to apply the Protocol to go into effect. This is too long to wait. It is high time for those countries who joined in the solemn resolutions concerning interim national control over psychotropic substances to carry out resolution 1475 (XLVIII) of the Economic and Social Council.

Author's footnote: Since this article was written, the Federal Republic of Germany has decided in June 1970, after diplomatic Swedish action to place phenmetrazine and methylphenidate under the German Opium Law.

The role of the police in counteracting the misuse of drugs

The police alone cannot solve the drug problem. Their efforts offer no cure for the misuse. Police activities constitute only a part of the public effort to cope with the threat that drug abuse involves. The drug problem must be attacked on a broad front with co-operation between many public agencies. Public countermeasures must consist of three main activities : information-treatment-police work.

Information must be objective and include facts concerning the dangers of using narcotics. Above all, it must be aimed at young people, for it is among them that new addicts are recruited. It is important to avoid "politicizing" information. In the beginning of the Swedish debate about drugs, the "information" contained much belief, and very little knowledge. Certain groups urged the use of narcotics as a means for liberating the individual. For some reason radical political ideas are sometimes connected with liberal views about the use of drugs. During 1969, knowledge was brought to bear on the problem in a way it had never been before. Experts with a knowledge of the effects of drugs had an opportunity to present their views, based on knowledge rather than belief.

Treatment must be extended from the search operation to find addicts, over acute and intensive treatment to after-care. The search operation above all is important. Most important, it concerns tracking down persons who have begun using drugs, but have not yet become seriously addicted. Here close co-operation is necessary between the police and the social welfare authorities-the police can give tips as to where the social welfare authorities should look.

Police efforts should not be primarily directed to individual drug users, though the police must be concerned with them in order to obtain clues as to those who supply the drug user. The main task of the police, however, is to catch those who make profits from the misuse and from the drug user, i.e. the financiers, the major smugglers and the major pushers. If the police are able to stop these profiteers and choke off the supply of narcotics, then the treatment agencies will be provided with breathing space to help the serious drug addicts without the necessity of being concerned about new cases. In particular, it should be possible to achieve a stabilization in the number of drug users, if police efforts are combined with effective information as regards the dangers connected with misuse. But at the same time as the vigorous efforts of the police are being applied, treatment must be organized and made effective. As long as there exists drug misuse in the country, there is a market for the sale of illicit drugs. And as long as there is a market for narcotics, the illegal drugs will find a way into the country no matter how great the efforts of the police are. Therefore, all three elements of the public campaign - information, treatment and police work - must be co-ordinated and put to use simultaneously. If one link in the chain breaks, the battle is lost.

The problem of the "traditional" narcotic drugs, mainly opium, from which morphine and heroin are obtained, and cannabis, is a particularly difficult one, because by far the greatest quantity of these drugs in illicit traffic come out of illegal or uncontrolled production in certain parts of the world, mainly the Middle East and South East Asia. The countries which produce these natural narcotic drugs generally do not have drug addiction themselves, they are poor countries and the production takes place in some of the most backward parts of these poor countries. Since it is this production which to such a large extent is behind the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, it must be eliminated if the problem is to be solved. The elimination of all this production is, however, beyond the resources of the countries themselves. In addition, the drugs problem does not appear to them as a matter of national priority and they cannot sacrifice their own resources to help the countries where the drugs go to supply addicts; in most cases the latter "victim" countries are incomparably richer than the poor countries where narcotics are only produced. The United Nations General Assembly has asked for a World Plan to help the Governments in all possible ways to gradually introduce substitute crops and other forms of activity so that this natural supply of raw drugs can be ended.

It will not suffice that one country attempts to come to grips with its drug problem, if neighbouring countries do not follow suit. This is especially the case with respect to police efforts. If one country takes effective police measures, "the big operators" on the illegal market will transfer their operations to a neighbouring country and continue. We have examples of this from Scandinavia. Stockholm was formerly the centre of the narcotics trade in Scandinavia. When the Swedish police commenced their campaign, this centre was moved from Stockholm to Copenhagen, which is now the gateway for narcotics into Scandinavia. Thus police campaigns against the drug trade cannot be restricted to national boundaries. Nor is international co-operation in individual cases or against individual smugglers enough to meet the situation : what is required is co-operation extending over the entire crime area taken as a whole; if Europe, for example, is to solve its narcotics problem, the national police authorities must jointly agree upon the policy for a united and co-ordinated attack which must cover the whole area, and be made at one time. In this respect INTERPOL could have an important function, if this organization took the initiative in co-ordinating such a united pan-European police campaign against the illicit drug traffic.