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Police crack down on biker gangs in Lappeenranta and Helsinki areas

More than 100 police officers swooped down on buildings linked to motorcycle gangs in several cities on Tuesday.

Rikoskomisario Timo Nyyssönen
Image: Yle / Timo Heikura

These included properties used by Hells Angels and an affiliated group, Bad Machine 81 Finland, in Vantaa, Espoo and Lappeenranta. Officers from local police units and the National Bureau of Investigations also carried out searches at homes and other buildings in Helsinki and Tuusula. A number of people were detained.

”Altogether we’re talking about something like 20 people,” says Detective Superintendent Timo Nyyssönen of the Eastern Uusimaa police. “We’ve also confiscated stolen goods, weapons and ammunition and possibly drugs.”

He says the detentions took place without significant resistance.

More raids to come

The searches are part of a long-running probe into an extensive series of violent and property crimes, as well as offences involving drugs and alcohol. Police say that the crimes have been carried out in the name of Hells Angels and its support group.

“There will probably be further detentions over the next few days,” said Nyyssönen. “This is a big investigation by Finnish standards, involving various branches of law enforcement for several months.”

Well over 100 officers took part in Tuesday’s raids, which began simultaneously in southern and eastern Finland. Those in custody face questioning on Wednesday.

In Lappeenranta, some 30 kilometres from the Russian border, police suspect that a local gang known as Hells Angels MC Carelia is part of an organised crime network extending to the Helsinki region.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was established 65 years ago in southern California. It now claims more than 125 charters in Europe.

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