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Photo: Norwegian Customs

Oslo Airport nets record drug seizure

The biggest-ever seizure of Tramadol came from two Swedish passengers’ suitcases, while the Swedish border yielded this year’s biggest spirits seizure.

Customs officers at Oslo Airport made Norway’s biggest-ever seizure of Tramadol, a powerful opioid prescription painkiller, on Tuesday.

When the customs officers opened four suitcases belonging to two Swedish passengers, they discovered nearly 184,000 pills, Norway Today reports.

“The Customs seizure suggests there is extensive abuse of this type of prescription drug in Norway. It is a worrying seizure record and at the same time an emerging societal problem. There is every reason to warn against the use of this drug,” Øystein Børmer, director of the Norwegian Customs Agency, said.

“We know that more die people of strong painkillers than of heroin in Norway,” he added, quoting Norwegian Institute of Public Health figures from 2016.

“The Norwegian Customs Agency is witnessing a significant rise in the number of both seizures and quantities. So far this year, 560,000 Tramadol pills have been seized, as opposed to nearly 300,000 in the whole of 2017,” Børmer said.

In Norway, Tramadol is a prescription drug but with strict import requirements. Several countries in Europe have classified it as a narcotic.

Out of Africa
The latest find was the third involving more than 100,000 pills at Gardermoen in 2019. The two Swedes started their journey in Kenya, according to Tor Fredriksen, customs section leader at Oslo Airport, who added: “We have experienced before that the larger seizures of Tramadol involve travellers coming from African countries.”

The border with Sweden at Svinesund is another Tramadol hotspot – just as it is for alcohol. Last Friday, customs officers there seized 1,716 litres of vodka, the biggest spirits seizure in Norway so far this year.

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