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Drug lord sentenced to 16 years in Denmark

A Danish drug lord was convicted of smuggling 13 tons of hashish into Denmark on Monday in a country’s biggest cannabis case.

Claus Malmqvist, 40, was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the maximum for drug crimes under Danish law.

Malmqvist who had pleaded not guilty, appealed the ruling by the Copenhagen City Court, his lawyer Henrik Dupondt Joergensen said.

The court said prosecutors had proved that Malmqvist organized the transport of 13 tons of hashish from Morocco to Denmark in 2003. Police had evidence of the transport, although they were not able to seize the drugs before they were sold.

The court seized 10 million kroner (EUR1.3 million; US$1.9 million) from Malmqvist that authorities had traced to the hashish sale.

He was also convicted of attempting to smuggle 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine from South America. That operation was aborted, police said.

Malmqvist was arrested in the Brazilian city of Belem in January 2005, and was extradited to Denmark 19 months later.

Some 30 people have been convicted in the case on charges ranging from murder to extortion and money laundering.