According to the National Bureau of Investigation, Finland may soon be seeing the same kind of inter-gang violence experienced in other Nordic countries.
Criminal motorcycle gangs are expanding their operations to the furthest reaches of the country, including the far north, police say.
The notorious Hell’s Angels and Bandidos are at war in Germany and Denmark, and authorities fear that such hostilities will once again spread to Finland after a lull of several years.
Police point to Oulu, where police intervention last month prevented a brawl between the two groups.
This year the under-manned Hell’s Angels have sought to strengthen their ranks by establishing new cells in several areas including Tuusula, Tampere and Jämsä.
Money talks, nobody walks
According to information obtained by Yle’s investigative programme Poliisi-tv, the criminal group is currently prospecting for suitable premises in Hämeenlinna.
Hell’s Angels also have aspirations to expand north of Oulu, as a first step to shoring up its cross-border operations across northern Europe.
The group has a cell in Luleå, northern Sweden, as well as Tromsø in Norway, and has also gained a foothold in the Murmansk region in Russia.
“If they operate in a small municipality where there are many other gangs, then that’s how the fights begin, in terms of what belongs to whom,” Detective Inspector Tapio Kalliokoski told Yle.
Money is always at the heart of the turf wars. The gangs’ income comes from the illegal drug trade and loan shark activities as well as from different parts of the shadow economy, such as the construction sector.