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Aarnio investigation complete: Ex-drug buster suspected of slew of offences

Police investigators have announced the completion of their preliminary investigation into suspicions of official misconduct by former Helsinki anti-drug police chief Jari Aarnio. Investigators suspect Aarnio and 23 others of a slew of offences, including bribe-taking, drug running and money laundering.

Jari Aarnio.
Helsingin huumepoliisin päällikkö Jari Aarnio oikeudenkäynnissä Helsingissä 15. marraskuuta. Image: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva

Investigators presented a 19,000-page report on their probe into allegations of misconduct against former Helsinki drug buster Jari Aarnio. The litany of offences includes aggravated fraud, aggravated official misconduct, drug offences and accepting tens of thousands of euros in bribes.

Aarnio and other Helsinki police officers are also suspected of involvement in a drug-running scheme that imported hashish into Finland from the Netherlands for onward distribution.

Investigators add that Aarnio disclosed classified information to the media and revealed details of police informants and undercover operations to external parties. They also claim that Aarnio accepted bribes running into tens of thousands of euros from the surveillance equipment company Trevoc for securing financing for the enterprise with the help of a lead figure from the criminal group the United Brotherhood.

Investigators: Aarnio had unexplained assets

The documentation also referred to unexplained assets owned by Aarnio with an estimated value of hundreds of thousands of euros. Investigators say Aarnio used some of these assets to construct a home in Porvoo, east of Helsinki. Back in May police discovered a stash of cash concealed on the property – the value of the cache was estimated at tens of thousands of euros. Investigators say they suspect Aarnio's inner circle of aggravated money laundering.

All of the suspects have denied the allegations against them. Investigators interviewed 120 witnesses and conducted 50 searches during their probe.

The investigation report will now be circulated for final statements, as the deadline to bring charges against the suspects is the end of July. Aarnio, who was remanded in custody last November pending the investigation, will remain in detention until that time.  

The prosecution will be lead by Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske assisted by a team of three.

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