STT: Convicted ex-Helsinki cop Jari Aarnio suspected of homicide

According to Finnish news agency STT, police have detained former Helsinki narcotics cop Jari Aarnio and ex-underworld boss Keijo Vilhunen.

Jari Aarnio Image: Kristiina Lehto / Yle

Former Helsinki narcotics chief Jari Aarnio is suspected of homicide in a contract killing that occurred in Vuosaari, eastern Helsinki in 2003. Investigators suspect that Aarnio had advance information about the hit and did not act to prevent it. If police know of a planned murder and fail to prevent it, the result can be a life sentence for homicide.

Swedish-Turkish Volkan Ünsal was killed in October 2003. He had taken money from his friend as part of a money transport robbery at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport and entered a witness protection programme before later abandoning the programme.

Prosecutor and lead investigator Jukka Haavisto confirmed to STT that a government official was suspected in the contract killing over a failure to stop the offence.

According to information obtained by STT police have detained Aarnio and a former underworld figure Keijo Vilhunen over the matter. Detective Chief Inspector Markus Laine of the National Bureau of Investigation said that a 58-year-old man had been held in eastern Finland. Haavisto said he did not want to offer comment on the possible use of force in the incident.

Three Finnish nationals and the Swedish citizen who ordered the contract killing were previously convicted over the case.

Aarnio has previous convictions for aggravated drug and official misconduct offences that are currently being considered by the Helsinki Appeal Court, which is expected to deliver a verdict early next year.

The former top cop is also subject to an enforceable three-year prison sentence linked to his dual role as a principal of a company supplying surveillance gear to police and his then-position as a senior Helsinki officer.