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Police officer handed 5-month suspended sentence in hash smuggling case

The Supreme Court cut the sentences of two defendants for crimes organised by convicted drug squad boss Jari Aarnio.

Tynnyri kansi avattuna.
A barrel containing smuggled hashish, 2012 file photo. Image: Keskusrikospoliisi

Finland's Supreme Court has upheld the verdict of a police officer involved in what has become a years-long legal battle regarding a drug smuggling operation linked to convicted ex-Helsinki drug squad chief Jari Aarnio.

An extensive police investigation revealed that in 2012-2013, Aarnio had orchestrated the illegal import of hundreds of kilos of hashish from the Netherlands to Finland. The former drug squad boss was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison for a raft of drug-related and official misconduct offences.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld the guilty verdict of a constable convicted in a court of appeals and handed the defendant a five-month suspended sentence for several breach of duties charges.

The constable was a subordinate of Aarnio when the offenses took place and had initially been sentenced by Helsinki District Court to three years in prison. The constable was dismissed by the Helsinki police department last year.

However, Aarnio's conviction, handed down by the Court of Appeals last year, did not proceed to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a woman who was found to have orchestrated the hashish smuggling, cutting her jail term from seven to two years. However the court did not change the appeal court's conviction.

The extensive drug smuggling case has been in various courts for years, with the first convictions handed down in 2012.

Aarnio was initially held on remand under suspicion of drug offences in December 2013, and his trial began in June 2015.

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