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Border Guard: Russian officials foiled Iranian family's illegal entry into Finland

Finnish officials say their Russian colleagues stopped a criminal gang's scheme to bring four Iranians across the border without visas.

Venäjä turisti raja venäläinen tulli Nuijamaa venäjän vaakuna
A party of five was halted 45 km from the border. Image: Yle

The Southeast Finland Border Guard's crime prevention unit suspects that an organised crime group attempted to illegally bring a four-member Iranian family from Russia into Finland in January. It credits Russian officials with foiling the plan.

Border Guard says that the scheme was arranged by two brothers of foreign background living in the Turku area along with two others, who are foreign citizens.

First the brothers travelled to Vyborg, Russia in a Finnish-registered car. There they met the Iranian family, and they all travelled together to St Petersburg.

At that point, one of the brothers returned to Finland by train and then drove through south-eastern Finland to Kuusamo, near Finnish Lapland. According to the Border Guard, he waited there with another man of foreign background.

Delayed announcement

Simultaneously the other brother and the family drove in the Finnish-registered car from St Petersburg to a spot near the village of Pyaozersky (known in Finnish as Pääjärvi) in Russian Karelia, some 100 km east of Kuusamo.

Russian border officials did not however allow the group onto the Russian frontier zone road leading to Kuusamo. At that point they were about 45 kilometres from the border.

The incident took place in January, but was only announced by the Border Guard on Thursday. It has not released more details of the whereabouts or current legal status of the individuals involved, other than to say that the case has been handed over to the Salpausselkä Prosecutor's Office in Kouvola for prosecution.

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