NBI top cop: Crime gangs "growing, internationalising and strengthening" in Finland

The situation in Finland could follow the same path as in Sweden and Denmark, according to the National Bureau of Investigation's Detective Superintendent.

Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Image: Yle

Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) told Yle's A-studio current affairs programme on Wednesday evening that he believes there will be an increase in gang violence in Finland over the coming years.

Fears that the situation with crime gangs in Finland may follow the same path as other Nordic countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, are justified, Ahlgren added.

"There's been violence and more of it will occur in Finland," he said. "It is growing, internationalising and strengthening."

Ahlgren cited one example from earlier this month, when police successfully managed to prevent two street gangs from clashing in the centre of Helsinki. On that occasion, police arrested 10 gang members and two men in their twenties were imprisoned.

He also referred to a group known as Mantaqa, operating in the Espoo area of the capital region, as a prime example of an increasingly tough and internationalised group.

"Mantaqa is a more exceptional gang than what we are used to dealing with, in that they do not wear vests, colours or other gang symbols. However, it is still a hierarchical criminal organisation," Ahlgren said, adding that the group has a particularly striking anti-social stance against the police and other authorities.