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Cowboy hat courier nabbed in Norway

A smuggler travelling across Sweden's western border recently baffled customs officials who found over 500 cowboy hats stashed in the back of his car along with a large quantity of booze and cigarettes.

Cowboy hat courier nabbed in Norway
Photo: Nika Vee (File)

“This is our largest seizure of cowboy hats,” said Morten Nystuen of the Kongsvinger customs to the Glomdalen.no news website.

“We’ve had to confiscate clothes before, but never cowboy hats,” he told the paper.

The driver was reportedly a Polish man who was travelling across Sweden’s (wild) western border from Arviken towards Norway’s capital Oslo on Tuesday night.

When officials searched his car, they uncovered some 12,400 cigarettes, 20 kilograms of tobacco, 144 litres of beer and 32 litres of wine.

And crammed in the back of the vehicle were 540 cowboy hats.

The booty had a street value of 121,000 Norwegian kroner ($20,742).

“The large sums withheld in this case certainly merit a custodial sentence,” said Rune Bekkemoen of the local police to the paper.

The Polish outlaw was handed over to police, and spent the night in jail. He currently remains in police custody.

It is alleged that the man has friends in Oslo who run a shop, and the bounty was intended for them.

It remains unclear as to whether Norway is now suffering a cowboy-hat shortage.

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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