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Norwegian police detain 63 in drug raids

Norwegian police detain 63 in drug raids

Norwegian police said Wednesday that 63 people have been detained and nearly 60 million kroner ($8.5 million) in narcotics and performance-enhancing drugs seized in raids on an Internet-based illegal drugs network.
Police said the nationwide network appeared to have been run from a 24-year-old man's bedroom at his parents house in the western Norway town of Foerde.
"This is a big case that involved a lot of people," Police Chief Johan Brekke of the Sogn og Fjordane police district said at a news conference. The case involved 16 police districts.
Police said the man, who name they withheld, communicated with potential customers through encrypted mobile phone messages and e-mails. He provided them usernames and passwords for his Web page, where they could order drugs by mail. Police said he had sales of at least 4 million kroner ($570.000) per year.
Police broke the codes and found customer addresses and shipping lists for at least 10 cities, including Oslo, the capital.
The 63 people detained ranged in age from 17 to 40, and raids on their homes and workplaces yielded nearly 60 million kroner in narcotics, anabolic steroids, cash and weapons, police said.
Brekke said the investigation in his district started a year ago following a rise in acts of violence, coupled with young men with dramatically increased muscle mass sometimes needing psychiatric care.
Police concluded those symptoms suggested the use of illegal steroids. The investigation revealed links to the rest of the country. Police did not say where the drugs originated or what drugs were found in addition to steroids.
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