S Bank’s logo outside a branch office in Espoo, Southern Finland, in May 2020. A vulnerability in the supermarket bank’s online banking system enabled a group of young people to make unauthorised bank transfers worth altogether 1.2 million euros from others’ accounts, according to Western Uusimaa Police Department. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS in the Finnish capital region are about to wrap up their inquiry into a case in which a group of young people made around 70 unauthorised bank transfers from accounts with S Bank.

The perpetrators gained access to the accounts by exploiting a vulnerability in the online banking system of what is the first so-called supermarket bank in Finland.

The suspects are also believed to have logged into the accounts of 140 customers of S Bank.

Western Uusimaa Police Department on Monday revealed the 16–23-year-old suspects took advantage of the vulnerability to obtain roughly 1.2 million euros. Around 500,000 euros of the criminal profits have been successfully recovered and confiscated by the investigators.

Klaus Geiger, the detective chief inspector in charge of the pre-trial investigation at Western Uusimaa Police Department, stated to Helsingin Sanomat in September that the suspects spent the money on “living large” and, for example, investing in cryptocurrencies.

The two ringleaders are suspected of several counts of means of payment fraud and aggravated means of payment fraud, aggravated money laundering and money laundering. Their accomplices are suspected of money laundering and aggravated money laundering.

Police have been and will continue to be personally in contact with all of the victims.

Geiger on Monday said in a press release that all of the suspects have been released to wait for the conclusion of the pre-trial investigation and upcoming consideration of charges. The investigators, he said, expect to be able to present the case to a prosecutor for consideration of charges early next year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT