The suspects smuggled people from Finland to Germany via the Helsinki Airport/Lehtikuva

News in brief

A transnational organised crime group is suspected of smuggling 12 Afghan nationals into Finland and illegally transporting them to Germany in return for thousands of euros.  

According to the Turku crime prevention unit of the West Finland Coast Guard, the suspected crimes took place between May and December 2019. 

Police have completed preliminary investigations, which revealed that a 30-year-old Afghan man transported people by plane from Athens, Greece to Lappeenranta, eastern Finland. 

Some of those who entered the country illegally chose to stay while others were taken to Berlin, Germany via the Helsinki Airport. At least one of the Afghan nationals brought here in 2019 has applied for asylum and has not been charged for any crime. 

The suspect is thought to have been paid 3,000 euros to provide counterfeit documents and flight tickets. Men, women and one child were smuggled across the borders over a total of six separate trips during the eight-month period. 

The suspect was previously convicted on charges of human trafficking in Austria, for which he served jail time, and has been accused of similar crimes in Germany. 

Police believe that at least two other people were involved in illegally transporting people into Finland, but are unable to provide details regarding their identity.  

The case was initially investigated as aggravated arrangement of illegal immigration, and has now been handed over to the Prosecution District of Southern Finland.