Professional Money Laundering Ring Nabbed

    Finnish police uncover sophisticated money laundering operation with refined modus operandi tied to an international drug trafficking ring.

    The World News Herald
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    Turku, Finland – The Turku Drug Crime Unit of the Southwest Finland Police Department has successfully investigated a major money laundering operation that was uncovered during the investigation of an international drug trafficking ring. A separate money laundering organisation collected nearly 5 million euros in funds in Finland.

    The money laundering operation was exposed to police during the preliminary investigation of an international drug trafficking case in 2023.

    The preliminary investigation into the drug trafficking case revealed that the drug organisation transferred at least €340,000 of the proceeds from the sale of drugs to foreign countries through a separate money laundering organisation.

    The matter was handled in the Varsinais-Suomi District Court, and in November 2023, the party that organised money laundering in Finland received a two-year unconditional prison sentence for money laundering.

    During the investigation of the money laundering operation, it was discovered that between September 2022 and July 2023, the money laundering organisation had received, in addition to the aforementioned €340,000, approximately €4.8 million, most of which had been transferred abroad and exchanged for virtual currency.

    Professional and Organised

    The money laundering organisation had handled money on dosens of occasions, mainly in the capital region.

    “The organisation’s activities were highly professional and organised,” says Detective Inspector Jussi Gustafsson, head of the investigation at the Southwest Finland Police Department.

    The person responsible for the money laundering organisation operating in Finland, who was detained during the preliminary investigation, received instructions from abroad via the Telegram messaging app.

    Refined Modus Operandi

    The preliminary investigation also clarified the modus operandi used by the criminal organisation to identify each other between money transfers and recipients.

    “According to the identification method discovered during the investigation, the recipient of the money transfer would first photograph the serial number of the note or the identifying information on a store receipt in their possession and send a picture of it to the meeting organiser,” Gustafsson describes.

    Through the meeting organiser, this identifying picture ended up with the money transferer. At the money reception meeting, the money transferer compared the identifying picture to the original note or store receipt of the money recipient and thus ensured that the serial numbers on the note were the same as those in the picture.

    “In this way, the money recipient and transferer, who were unknown to each other, could be sure that the cash ended up in the right hands,” Gustafsson continues.

    Prosecution Pending in Spring

    The money transfers received by the money laundering organization have been linked to over ten separate serious drug offences, some of which have resulted in convictions in Finland. Some of the cases are under prosecution and some are still under investigation.

    The money laundering complex will be transferred to the South Finland Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution in the spring.

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