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Helsinki man held on suspicion of multiple child sex offences

Police have released an image of the suspect in order to encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

Image: Jaakko Stenroos / AOP

Police in Helsinki have arrested a man they suspect of committing multiple sex offences against at least twelve underage girls.

Investigators believe that there may be more victims of the man known as "Eno" or Uncle, and have released an image of the suspect with a request for further victims and witnesses to come forward. The police justify their decision to publish the suspect's photograph on the grounds that it is necessary in order to carry out a full investigation into the man's possible crimes.

Although he is only suspected of the crimes at this stage, public broadcaster Yle is also publishing the image of the man, due to these exceptional circumstances.

Director of the investigation Saara Asmundela of the Helsinki Police Department said that the identity of at least one of the suspected victims has not yet been established.

"It may be that some of the victims are not even aware that they were abused because many of the victims known to the police were in an unconscious state at the time the suspected offences occurred. This was due to the suspect supplying the victims with alcohol or other intoxicants," she said.

Suspect plied minors with alcohol and drugs

The man is suspected of, among other things, multiple cases of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The offences are believed to have occurred at the man's apartment in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Laajasalo, beginning in 2006 and continuing over the course of several years.

According to police, the suspect is known as "Eno" by the young people in his local community. During their preliminary investigation, police have discovered that the suspect had also been known to offer alcohol and narcotic drugs to minors.

Police have emphasised that they believe a number of serious crimes have transpired, and that the evidence provided by both victims and witnesses will play an important role in determining possible charges.

"We ask that anyone who suspects that they have been the victim of a crime or knows something that might be helpful in the investigation to please contact us," Asmundela said.

Police request contacts use the e-mail address

A photo of the suspect. Image: Poliisi