The National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) discovered at least 500,000 euros in cash during the house searches it conducted in South-west Finland between Saturday and Sunday, reveals Tomi Taskila, the chief superintendent in charge of the pre-trial investigation.
Taskila told Uusi Suomi on Monday that the cash was found in a plastic bag but declined to disclose the exact location of the discovery.
He also reminded that the investigators have yet to examine all of the items seized during the large-scale operation.
“We seized so many documents and data storages from the premises that going through and examining them will take a while, probably at least until the end of next spring,” he added in a press release from KRP.
KRP on Monday also announced it has issued a warrant of arrest for two employees of the company under investigation on suspicion of aggravated money laundering and aggravated tax fraud. One of the suspects is Russian and the other Estonian.
Media reports have suggested that the company at the heart of the economic crime investigation is Airiston Helmi, a Finnish listed company with ties to Russia. KRP, however, has neither denied nor confirmed such reports.
Ari Rajala, an analyst for Kauppalehti, told yesterday that the business operations of the company appear to make no sense. Airiston Helmi, he highlighted, has reported operating losses of a total of 5.5 million euros since its foundation, has roughly 10 million euros in debt and has only 6,100 euros in cash assets.
Airiston Helmi describes itself as a tourism and accommodation company that also operates in property ownership and leasing. The company has garnered media attention in recent years by acquiring de-commissioned vessels from auctions held by the Finnish Defence Forces.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi