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Wednesday's papers: Odin's domestic abusers, new biker gang, Berner on Posti future

The newspapers of Finland on Wednesday featured revelations in the Aamulehti paper that a few members of the Tampere division of the street-patrolling Soldiers of Odin have earlier been convicted of abuse and other crimes. According to several papers a new biker gang is setting up shop in Finland. And the Minister of Transport and Communications says Posti may end up reducing mail delivery days.

Soldiers of Odinin jäsenet marssivat Joensuussa.
Members of the Soldiers of Odin in Joensuu, January 8, 2016. Image: Lehtikuva

This morning's Aamulehti featured a front page article which claims that some members of the Tampere division of the Soldiers of Odin - the right wing citizen street patrol group which claims is protecting people - have actually been convicted of abuse of women and other crimes themselves.

According to the article, two members of the Tampere Soldiers of Odin were found guilty of violence against women. One member, the paper writes, was convicted and was forced to pay day fines for shoving a woman into a wall and punching her twice, breaking her nose in 2006.

Another member of the Tampere wing of the citizen street patrol gang was convicted and fined in 2012 for knocking a woman to the floor, which resulted in the woman hitting her head on a television stand, according to the paper.

The paper wrote that a third member of the Tampere group has several convictions behind him. In 2006 and 2007 the man was found guilty of abusing a woman. On several different occasions, the paper details, the man had thrown the woman into walls, pulled her hair, slapped her with an open hand, kicked her when she was lying on the ground, grabbed her by the throat and unleashed further abuse.

That same man had also been convicted of abusing his own son, cultivating marijuana, drink driving, misdemeanour embezzlement, firearms violations and many other offenses, according to Aamulehti.

The paper states that it asked the Tampere Soldiers of Odin for comment via their Facebook page and said a response came very quickly.

The person answering, who would not identify him or herself, denied that members of the group would have such criminal backgrounds. However, according to the paper the response came so quickly it would have been impossible to verify.

The Support Soldiers of Odin Tampere Facebook page administrator refused to be interviewed.

"We do not give interviews to [people trying to] systematically denigrate our members," the paper quoted the Soldiers of Odin member saying.

Satudarah MC:  New biker gang arrives

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is concerned about the arrival of a new motorcycle gang in Finland, according to Swedish language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

The arriving international motorcycle gang is Satudarah MC, a group that unlike most motorcycle gangs, welcomes people of all races into their clubs.

Satudarah MC has more than 40 chapters in the Netherlands and is active in several countries around the world.

Police say the gang, which was started in 1990 in the Netherlands, is very violent and responsible for crimes like drug trafficking, murder, extortion and still others.

The gang is helped by its all-race inclusive practices, according to NBI detective chief Rabbe von Hertzen.

If the integration of migrants is unsuccessful, there could be [a source of] potential new gang members among the new arrivals, von Hertzen told the paper.

Reduction in Posti deliveries?

According to evening tabloid Iltalehti, the Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner says that the current five days per week mail delivery could be reduced in the future.

"That is one option which is being examined," the paper quoted Berner saying on Tuesday.

Postal sector reform legislation is currently pending. A government working group aims to get postal reform discussion started by this spring, and needs to examine how changes would be affected by EU rules and Finland's obligatory postal laws.

Currently Posti is required by law to deliver letters, not for example, newspapers or packages, the paper writes.

Berner says the working group will examine different alternatives.

"There is also the option that mail delivery could be combined with other supplies like food or e-commerce shopping," Berner said.

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