Finland conducts police sting operation against suspected Russian-backed money launderer

On Saturday, Finnish authorities began a large-scale police operation that included a search and seizure of property of a Finnish-registered company believed to be involved in money laundering. Yle news agency reported that over a hundred representatives of law enforcement agencies were involved in the special operation in the Turku archipelago and in the Varsinais Suomi (region of southwest Finland).

During the operation, police searched ten locations, the homes and offices of the company’s employees, whose owners are registered in another EU country. Authorities would not reveal the name of the company but Finnish media reports that their target was Airiston Helmi.

The police suspect that in addition to large-scale money laundering, the company may have also used illegal immigrants for labor. The company could have committed several million-euro worth of financial fraud.

The Varsinais Suomi Coast Guard and local police assisted the criminal police in the operation. Flights were prohibited over the territory while the operation was underway. The authorities seized operation materials, questioned seven people of various nationalities and detained two of them. On Sunday morning, the police announced another arrest.

Earlier this year, Finnish media informed the public that a Russian-backed company was experiencing problems with Finnish authorities. It provided tourist services illegally as it only had a permit for construction services. Police declined to confirm if the current operation had to do with that company.

  Finland, Russia