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NBI: Gangs target shady businesses for extortion

The number of cases of extortion has increased in recent years, along with a growth in motorcycle gangs in the country. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) says that businesses that skirt the law themselves are most vulnerable.

Bandidos-jengin jäseniä.
Bandidos MC members in Germany. Image: Marius Becker / EPA

The NBI currently has several investigations underway of extortion by organized crime groups.

According to NBI Inspector Ari Karvonen, the most common target of extortion attempts are businessmen whose own activities are not entirely on the up-and-up.

"Entrepreneurs with activities in the grey sector of the economy easily drift in with organized crime. A debt is made up for one reason or another, and then collection is made," Karvonen explains.

In addition to extortion, organized crime groups are to be found dealing in illegal drugs and carrying out robberies.

Motorcycle gangs, according to Inspector Ari Karvonen, have had an impact on the picture. He stressed in an Yle interview that the problem is continent-wide.

"Finland is in no way isolated. This means that there exist contacts with other parts of Europe," he said.

However, Karvonen added that police have the overall situation under control. In Finland, the violence that characterizes motorcycle gangs mainly makes them a threat to each other.

"For the average citizen, we can talk of coincidence - of being in the wrong place at the wrong time," noted NBI Inspector Ari Karvonen.

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