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Ex-drugs chief Aarnio facing new charges – total now 29

Former Helsinki drug squad leader Jari Aarnio is facing two new charges on drug offences. The former top cop has been the focus of a long-running investigation into drug dealing and corruption.

Jari Aarnio.
Jari Aarnio. Image: Yle

The new charges filed against former Helsinki drug squad chief Jari Aarnio have been classified aggravated drug offences and relate to violations allegedly committed in 2010 and 2011 and involving 10 kilograms of hashish.

The charges were laid against Aarnio and three other persons, who are reportedly not members of the police force. Two of the defendants have not previously been charged with any offences in the entire investigation, according to a statement from the Office of the Prosecutor General.

The charge sheet against Aarnio contains a total of six other drug-related offences involving nearly 1,000 kilograms of hashish.

29 indictments on Aarnio’s charge sheet

The former head of Helsinki’s drugs-busting unit stands accused of participating in two major criminal enterprises: shady dealings and a conflict of interest in the acquisition of surveillance equipment and a series of large-scale drug violations.

At the moment the lower court is deliberating on the case involving Aarnio’s dealings with the surveillance equipment provider Trevoc, in which he is accused of official misconduct, aggravated fraud, bribe-taking and other abuses of his station.

Aarnio has maintained his innocence and stridently refuted the allegations against him throughout the entire process. The former police officer previously faced some 27 indictments; the two latest charges now bring the total to 29. He has been detained in isolation while in remand custody for the past year and a half.

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