The National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) says a total of seven people were brought into custody in connection with house searches conducted as part of an investigation into suspected economic offences in South-west Finland between Saturday and Sunday.
Three of the suspects were placed under arrest but one of them was released later last weekend, according to a press release from KRP.
A total of 17 premises were searched during the large-scale operation that caught the attention of local residents and news outlets, with the officers seizing materials such as documents and data storages that may have been used for committing the alleged offences.
“The operation progressed according to plan and smoothly. We will continue the investigation by interrogating the suspects and examining the seized material. There is a large amount of material and going through it all will certainly take months,” commented Markku Ranta-aho, a senior detective superintendent at KRP.
Conducted in co-operation with the Finnish Tax Administration, the investigation revolves around a listed company that is believed to have been involved in laundering millions of euros and used undeclared workers for construction projects.
“The suspected offences include aggravated money laundering and aggravated tax fraud,” Ranta-aho said on Saturday.
The large-scale search operation also generated plenty of media interest on Saturday.
Helsingin Sanomat reported that the large premises and construction projects of the company have raised eyebrows among security officials for several years. The Finnish Defence Forces and Security Intelligence Service (Supo), it wrote, citing an anonymous source, have monitored the operations of the company closely due to its ties to Russia.
The company in question was identified as Airiston Helmi.
Ranta-aho dismissed such reports in an interview with Iltalehti.
“Let’s just say that I don’t want to comment on these kinds of claims, but I’ll reiterate that we’re talking purely about an economic crime investigation and aggravated money laundering,” he stressed.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi