Faulty sat nav caused major police operation in Danish village

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Faulty sat nav caused major police operation in Danish village
Police in Espe, Funen on September 28th. Photo: Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Ritzau Scanpix

Armed police, a helicopter and a drone were sent to a small town on the island of Funen in September by a stray satellite navigation signal.


A major police search in September temporarily closed off parts of the country, with bridges and roads closed.

Faulty sat nav equipment in a Volvo that was the subject of the police search directed officers to Espe, a village with 500 inhabitants 25km south of Odense, police confirmed in a press statement on Monday.

Police were dispatched to the village in large numbers during the operation.

“The police operation in Espe took place on the basis of information suggesting the car was in this town,” Copenhagen Police said in the statement.

“This subsequently proved to be incorrect information resulting from a fault with the car’s antenna, which affected its sat nav equipment. We can now state that the car was never in Espe,” the statement added.

The operation on September 28th and 29th was, according to police intelligence agency PET, caused by an assassination attempt on a Denmark-based Iranian by Iranian intelligence services, the Danish agency said last week.

PET suspected people in the Volvo to be connected to the alleged attempt, but this proved not to be the case.

The Volvo was found on September 28th near Holbæk on Zealand after a search lasting several hours in Espe, involving a large number of heavily armed police.

A helicopter, a drone and police dogs were also involved in the search.

Police wrote in Monday’s press statement that the operation was naturally “the subject of attention, both in (Espe) and in the rest of the country.”

“Copenhagen Police would like to thank the residents of Espe for their understanding over the work we were required to conduct as part of the investigation,” the statement said.

The people who were travelling in the Volvo remain under investigation for economic crimes, the police added.

READ ALSO: Iran attempted political assassination in Denmark: PET


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