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20 Jan, 2024 12:09

Cocaine found in Swedish parliament – media

Traces of the drug were discovered in bathrooms inside the Riksdag building in Stockholm, according to a local newspaper
Cocaine found in Swedish parliament – media

Traces of cocaine have been discovered during a narcotics analysis of bathrooms inside Sweden’s parliament, according to a report by the Aftonbladet tabloid.

In its Wednesday piece, the widely read newspaper said that its reporter conducted swab tests of seven bathrooms inside Stockholm’s Riksdag with ‘cocaine wipes,’ which can detect trace amounts of the substance from surfaces that have come into contact with the narcotic.

The daily claimed that the swab tests revealed the presence of cocaine in four bathrooms inside the national legislature.

“In all the samples we received, we found cocaine,” hospital chemist Anders Helander, who performed subsequent analysis on the samples, said according to Aftonbladet.

The newspaper added that the drug was found in bathrooms predominantly used by lawmakers from four political parties: the Social Democrats, Sweden Democrats, Left Party and the Liberals.

Representatives of each of the parties said that they were surprised by the findings of the analysis but added to Aftonbladet that the bathrooms in question are accessible to the public and could have been used by anyone.

“Our 28 toilets are available to everyone who needs them,” Erik Kristow, a senior member of Sweden Democrats, said to the tabloid, adding that people including “journalists, administrative staff and other visitors to our office” have access to the facilities.

A spokesperson for the Social Democrats said the prevalence of drugs in modern society is a “big problem” but stressed of the Riksdag bathrooms that “we cannot control who has access to them.” However, the representative of the party added that it is taking the results of drug tests “very seriously.”

Citing an anonymous source, Aftonbladet wrote that an internal meeting was held within the legislature this week during which officials said they would support anyone who has possible drug problems. However, they ruled out forced drug testing of lawmakers and parliament employees.

Niklas Astrom, head of security at the Riksdag, also said per the newspaper that local police are aware of the issue and an official report is being prepared.

Sweden has for several years held a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to drug prevention as part of a broader plan aimed at reducing both the supply and demand of illegal narcotics within its borders.

Despite this aggressive policy, a port in the country’s south has become a European hub for drugs smuggled to the continent from South America, Swedish customs officials said last year. Between September 2022 and May 2023, some 1.3 tons of cocaine destined for the European market were seized by Swedish customs authorities.