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Head of Helsinki drug squad suspected of accepting bribes

Chief Inspector Jari Aarnio, head of the Helsinki drug squad, was taken into custody on Tuesday on suspicion of a conflict of interest that involves accepting bribes.

Rikosylikomisario Jari Aarnio Helsingin poliisilaitoksen tiedotustilaisuudessa 4. huhtikuuta 2012.
Chief Inspector Jari Aarnio of the Helsinki drug squad. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Late Tuesday afternoon the head of the Helsinki drug squad, Chief Inspector Jari Aarnio, was taken into custody on suspicion of accepting bribes worth thousands of euros, and of a serious conflict of interest.

During an initial investigation launched in September into claims that Aarnio allegedlly helped start up and run a prostitution service, other issues arose that gave investigators reason to suspect that Aarnio had received preferential treatment from a certain company and operated under a conflict of interest in his role as a policeman.

State Prosecutor, Jukka Haavisto, who launched the initial investigation into Aarnio's actions, said that the company in question is a private company that many police officials have procured services or products from.

According to Haavisto, Aarnio is suspected of receiving benefits from the company in question on several occasions. “This is not just about one single event,” said Haavisto.

Several homes were searched today and many people questioned. The police did not reveal how many individuals were involved.

“This kind of suspicion is always a shock, especially when it concerns a police officer,” said Helsinki Police Superintendent Juha Hakola.

Aarnio has been removed from duty for the time being.

Hakola didn't comment on how these two sets of Aarnio allegations have affected the credibility of the Helsinki drug police.

It’s not known yet whether Aarnio has denied the allegations made against him.

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