A Polish man has been sentenced by a Norwegian court to far more than 10 several years in the slammer for attempting to smuggle 88 lbs . of amphetamine disguised as a cargo of COVID-19 vaccines.
The 50-year-aged person, who has not been recognized, was stopped by customs officials soon following he arrived in Norway from Denmark by ferry, in accordance to VICE, which cited neighborhood broadcaster NRK.
He coated his van with magnetic stickers bearing the symbol of BioNTech, one particular of the developers of the Pfizer jab, and also placed a folder that includes the symbol on the dashboard, in accordance to the information outlet.
Officials found the huge stash of amphetamine, colloquially recognised as velocity, concealed in the vehicle’s roof — an quantity that signifies almost 10 per cent of Norway’s annual seizures of the drug, VICE noted, citing Norwegian media accounts.
The Vestfold District Courtroom said the male, a truck driver in Germany, had been supplied about $23,500 to smuggle the drug, a popular stimulant in Northern Europe, the outlet described.
“He came into speak to with men and women who wished him to smuggle prescription drugs to Norway,” browse the verdict acquired by Motherboard. “At very first he refused, but then the pandemic came and there have been less assignments and the wages had been reduced. He rented a van in Germany and drove to Amsterdam, exactly where he was handed the medications.”
It continued: “He was concerned of these individuals and what they could do to his household. They advised him they knew wherever his family members in Germany life.”
The smuggler’s lawyer, Sverre Sjøvold, said his consumer believed he was smuggling hash, not velocity, which carries a much extra severe sentence.
“He was sure that he was smuggling cannabis, and had in thoughts a sentence of 3 to 4 decades in jail,” Sjøvold informed NRK. “When he heard 10 a long time and 6 months, it was apparent he was stunned.”
The lawyer’s business advised Motherboard in an email that the guy “was wrongly convicted” and that he will appeal, according to VICE.
The court pointed to fingerprint and DNA evidence uncovered on the vacuum-packed luggage containing the pace — and threw chilly h2o on his tale that a single of the baggage fell from the hidden compartment and hit his head throughout the journey.
“The court docket is selected that he either understood or thought it a lot more than 50 percent most likely that he was smuggling amphetamine,” the court wrote.