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Finnish police release three sex crime suspects

As sexual abuse investigations proceed, two suspects have been freed in Helsinki, along with one in Oulu. The latter remains under investigation.

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Law enforcement officials are probing suspected sex crimes in Oulu and Helsinki. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Police in Helsinki suspect a man committed aggravated sexual offences against a child. Two other men, who were detained along with him in a flat in eastern Helsinki on Saturday, have been released.

The suspect, described only as having been born in the 1990s, is suspected of various offences including aggravated rape and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Police will seek to place him formally under arrest this week.

"The more serious the suspected crime, the lower the police’s threshold to detain individuals for questioning. Two of them have been freed because according the police’s current information there are no grounds to suspect them of crimes,” says Detective Inspector Saara Asmundela.

Police have interviewed the suspect and the sole victim.

"Police will not comment on the victim's age or gender because we want to ensure that the victim's identity remains secret,” Asmundela says.

Police suspect that several acts took place in the eastern Helsinki apartment between early October and 9 January. They believe that no-one else was present at the time.

One Oulu suspect released

Meanwhile police in Oulu have freed one sex crime suspect.

On Friday police in the northern city said they had launched a preliminary investigation into four more suspected sexual crimes against girls under the age of 15. As part of the probe they detained three male suspects “of foreign background”.

One of them has been released. Police will ask Oulu District Court to remand the other two on Tuesday.

The head of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Markus Kiiskinen, says that the suspect who was released is under the age of 18.

"The preliminary investigation and interviews were completed [on Sunday] in regard to this individual to the extent that there is no need to keep him in detention,” said Kiiskinen, adding that the suspect remains under investigation.

So far authorities have not cited any links between the Helsinki and Oulu cases.

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