Most economic crimes are uncovered in western and southern Finland where the fruits of crime total tens of millions of euros.
The Economic Crime Unit of the Helsinki Police has to deal with around 250 crimes annually. This level has remained unchanged for several years but the sums involved have risen tremendously.
Prior to the euro, the average sum involved was the equivalent of 40,000 euros. Now the average sum is 200,000 euros. Even with inflation, the growth remains large.
Thanks to diligent tax inspections, many economic crimes now surface, for instance, in the restaurant business.
Most economic crimes, however, come to light in the construction sector. Recently the Helsinki District Court handed down jail sentences of two to three years on eighteen men found guilty of tax evasion.
Many accused protest their innocence while others point the finger of guilt elsewhere. Often international crime gangs are involved
Some 1,600 economic crimes were investigated last year, 60 more than in the previous year. In almost all cases, investigations lead to prosecution.