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Thursday's papers: Tragedy in Ekenäs, human smuggling via Facebook, identity theft hits southern Finland

The papers on Thursday reported on the murder of a young woman in southern Finland. One paper examines a human smuggling operation which attracts customers through a Facebook page. Another newspaper reports that police suspect two individuals of identity theft crimes that affected at least 70 people in southern Finland.

Image: Yle

Tragedy hit the idyllic southern seaside village of Ekenäs on Tuesday. According to evening paper Iltalehti, police received a call about the death of a 20 year-old woman on Tuesday evening.

A check of the woman's apartment immediately led police to believe the incident was likely a question of murder.

Through the media, local police asked residents in the Raseborg area to be on the lookout for a ten-year-old grey Honda and its male, blonde driver, saying he was likely armed and dangerous.

Police searched for - and eventually found - the vehicle and the body of the suspect. Vasabladet reported the suspect was found inside the car.

The victim was a 20 year-old woman who grew up in Ostrobothnia and had lived in Ekenäs for some time. Vasabladet reports. The woman's death is being investigated as murder and police might update the media later on Thursday, news outlets are reporting.

Pricey human smuggling

Finland's biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat had a big feature story about a human smuggling ring that attracted its customers via Facebook. The paper interviewed a man from Yemen by the name of Abdullah Salem who claims that he and his family were offered transportation and arrangements to move and apply for asylum to Europe for the sum of 8,000 euros.

Salem told the paper he found the offer on Facebook from a fellow Yemeni who called himself Husam.

"Husam assured me how amazing my life could be. I could work, get a home and study," Salem told HS by telephone.

Salem said Husam seemed honest and after selling the family store, cars and furniture, sent him a few thousand dollars for a Russian visa. The smuggler said he would arrange a hotel for Salem in Moscow, and promised to organise some kind of transportation to Finland. But when he arrived to Moscow he was turned away at the airport by border officials and he returned to Saudi Arabia.

Husam went to Moscow again, this time with his whole family, and were granted entry. However, they could no longer get hold of the smuggler once they were in Russia and had lost thousands of dollars for nothing.

The paper goes on to say that this Salem's case is not unique. HS interviewed five other Yemenis who also lost their money while trying to pay smugglers to get them to Finland. The paper estimates that Husam had scammed at least ten thousand dollars from at least ten other Yemen nationals.

Husam is not the only one in the human smuggling racket. Deputy Director at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, Tuesday Reitano told the paper that due to the explosive growth of people looking to leave some Middle Eastern and North African countries, human smuggling is now a billion dollar business.

Identity theft in Uusimaa

Finland's biggest Swedish-language daily, Hufvudstadsbladet, reports that some 70 people in Uusimaa were bitten by identity thieves.

Police allege that the two suspects bought goods valued at some 40,000 euros using other people's identities.

The stolen identities stem from a massive data breach in 2011 when the personal data of some 16,000 people was stolen.

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