Can CCTV curb drug runs between Sweden and Norway?

Surveillance cameras are set to be installed along the border between Sweden and Norway in an effort to catch drug traffickers, after a trial run resulted in treble the amount of drug runs being busted.

Can CCTV curb drug runs between Sweden and Norway?
File photo of a CCTV camera in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The equipment was first tested by Norwegian customs at the boundary between Sweden’s western Värmland region and Hedmark in Norway.

And the cameras will now be rolled out on all passable roads between the two countries, SVT Värmland reports.

“We get a different view of what is moving over our border crossings. It has been really effective when it comes to stopping the large-scale movement of narcotics, alcohol and cigarettes,” Morten Nystuen, the head of customs in Norwegian town Kongsvinger, told SVT.

More than 400 kilos of narcotics and 150,000 litres of alcohol have been seized with the help of the CCTV trial since last summer.

Cameras are due to be set up along the entire border over the course of the next year. In total around 130 million Norwegian kronor (140 million Swedish kronor/$15.7 million) will be invested in the equipment.

Sweden is generally wary of CCTV compared to other countries. Earlier this year an appeals court ruling was required for police to be granted permission to install cameras in two Stockholm suburbs in an effort to monitor crime.


Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

Norwegian police said Monday they had arrested two alleged accomplices of the suspect in a June shooting that killed two people in Oslo on the sidelines of Pride celebrations.

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday in Oslo suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”, the Oslo police said in a statement.

One is a Somali man in his forties, the other a Norwegian in his thirties — both of them known to police. Their identities were not disclosed.

In the early hours of June 25, a man opened fire near a gay bar in central Oslo during celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

The shooting killed two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounded 21 others. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Zaniar Matapour, a
43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The new arrests bring the number of people implicated in the attack to four, as Norwegian police announced last week they were seeking another suspect linked to the shooting.

On Friday, Oslo police announced that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a 45-year-old Islamist with a prior conviction, who is also suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”.

“The police still believes Bhatti is in Pakistan,” a country with which Norway has no extradition agreement, police said Monday.

“To ensure the best possible cooperation with the Pakistani authorities, we had Oslo police officers in Pakistan a short time ago,” it added.

According to police, they have not yet had direct contact with Arfan Bhatti but have spoken to his Norwegian lawyer, Svein Holden, and say they expect the legal proceedings in Pakistan to take time.