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10-month jail term for "toy smuggler" over slew of financial crimes

The court dismissed charges of aggravated money laundering but convicted Rami Adham on several counts of fundraising crimes, forgery and other offences.

Rami Adham.
Rami Adham in court in August 2018. Image: Irene Stachon / Lehtikuva

Helsinki District Court slapped Rami Adham, known as the toy smuggler, with a 10-month prison sentence on Wednesday for a welter of crimes including registry entry violations as well as fundraising, accounting and forgery offences.

However the court dismissed charges of aggravated money laundering brought against Adham, who became a media darling over efforts to bring relief to people displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria. Finnish-Syrian Adham earned the "toy smuggler" moniker for including toys among the items he took to the internally-displaced.

The court ruled that Adham did not have a permit to collect some 150,000 euros for the Finnish-Syrian Association and even after receiving a permit, went on to illegally gather another 160,000-plus euros.

The court found that Adham spent some of the funds he collected on a community allotment cottage in Finland and transferred some of the charitable donations to a bank account that he opened in Turkey. However the court said that these actions did not constitute money laundering.

Prosecutors had previously called for a prison sentence for Adham and argued that in addition to fundraising offences, he was guilty of money laundering.

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