12 charged in Finland through FBI-led sting operation

Authorities seized more than 500 kilos of drugs, dozens of weapons and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

During the preliminary investigation, the police seized items including a bag containing drugs. Image: Poliisi

Twelve people have been charged in Finland as part of Operation Greenlight/Trojan Shield, a sprawling international probe that led to seizures of large amounts of drug and weapons, the Prosecutor's Office said on Tuesday. The charges are mostly for serious drug offenses. Six of the accused remain in custody.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, the charges now brought concern one string of crimes in Southern Finland, which has been investigated by the Helsinki Police Department.

The charges relate to the massive operation led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). During the operation, the FBI gained access to the encrypted messaging of criminals operating in different countries and passed the information to the authorities of the cooperating countries.

In the global sting, organised crime gangs were sold encrypted phones with software called ANOM that law enforcement officials could monitor. Authorities said in June that it had led to more than 800 arrests and the confiscation of drugs, weapons, cash and luxury cars.

According to the prosecutor's office, the investigation has also revealed other crimes for which two people have been charged. However, according to the Prosecutor's Office, these crimes are not connected to Operation Greenlight.

Prosecutions around Finland

Greenlight-related charges were filed earlier this autumn in various parts of Finland. Some cases have already been heard at district courts.

In June, police announced that Finnish authorities had arrested almost 100 people in connection with the preliminary investigations related to Operation Greenlight. In addition, authorities had seized more than 500 kilos of drugs, dozens of weapons and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

Customs announced the completion of its preliminary investigation in September. Its operations included a search of storage premises in Tampere where 3D printers were being used to manufacture firearm parts. Two active firearms, a large number of firearm parts and a large amount of ammunition were seized from the premises.

The international Operation Greenlight was led by the FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Europol and police in 16 countries, including Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland.