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Court orders seizure of house bought by 4 dads to grow cannabis

Helsinki's court of appeal said a house used for growing cannabis should be handed over to the state because it was used for criminal activity.

File photo of an indoor cannabis cultivation room, not related to this story. Image: Hämeen poliisi

At the beginning of 2017 minor headlines were made about four "normal family men" from the quiet southern city of Porvoo who were caught growing and selling cannabis in a dilapidated house they'd bought and fixed up in order to resell the property.

None of the four men had previous criminal records, but two of them reportedly already had experience cultivating marijuana as a hobby, and the group decided to use the house to grow more of the illegal plants.

In its decision, Helsinki's Court of Appeals said that the house had been used for criminal purposes and had been bought exclusively in order to use it to grow cannabis.

The house was located in a remote area and was purposely chosen by the men, the court said, so the growing operation would not be discovered by authorities.

In its justification for seizure of the property, the court said the men would not have had the means to buy and renovate it if they had not sold cannabis in the first place. All four men received jail sentences amounting to about two years each, and the sentences were not appealed.

Seizure justified on criminal grounds

The appeals court decision reversed a previous decision by Helsinki District Court, which found that the house could not be seized on criminal grounds.

During the appeal regarding the property, the prosecution said the house should be seized because it was used for criminal activity.

According to the court the men bought the house for 40,000 euros and earned some 57,000 euros selling the cannabis, money which was used to renovate the building.

When news of the case first appeared on the Porvoo police department's blog, the men had reportedly sold some 8.6kg of cannabis.

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