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NBI seeks remand of 2 suspects in archipelago money laundering case

One white-collar crime suspect is an Estonian citizen, while the other is Russian.

Airiston Helmen Villa Ybbersnäs nähtynä ilmasta Paraisilla 23. syyskuuta.
Aerial view of an Airiston Helmi property in Pargas on Sunday. Image: Veijo Lindgren / Lehtikuva

Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is asking a court to remand two individuals detained in a massive police operation over the weekend.

The NBI filed the requests on Monday afternoon. The District Court of South-West Finland is to consider the filing on Tuesday.

The bureau says that the two should be formally placed under arrest on suspicion of aggravated money laundering and aggravated tax fraud. They are citizens of Estonia and Russia respectively.

They are employees of a company that was the target of an extensive crackdown by authorities on Saturday and Sunday.

Police have not announced the name of the firm in question. However at least some of the raids appeared to have been on properties owned by real estate company Airiston Helmi, which has spent millions buying up land in the Turku archipelago in recent years.

Preliminary investigation could last until spring

“So many documents and recording devices were confiscated from these premises that it going through them all will take a long time, probably until at least next spring,” detective Tomi Taskila said in a statement on Monday.

Authorities raided 17 locations over the weekend. Taking part in the operation were about 100 NBI employees and about 300 other officials, including members of the Border Guard and local police.

Police suspect that the Finnish-registered firm laundered millions of euros, while dabbling in black-market labour, tax and pension fraud among other offences.

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