Press release issued by the Prosecutor's Office of Eastern Uusimaa: Aarnio case to be concluded
The record of the criminal investigation of the case involving Detective Chief Inspector Jari Aarnio has today been submitted for final statement by the parties. Jari Aarnio is suspected of a number of offences, including aggravated abuse of public office, aggravated fraud, aggravated acceptance of a bribe and aggravated narcotics offences. He has been placed in detention since November 2013. There are 23 other suspects in the case.
In late summer 2013, the Office of the Prosecutor General ordered an investigation into allegations that Jari Aarnio, a Detective Chief Inspector of the Helsinki Police Department, had violated his official duties.
The suspicions of violation of official duties are based on allegations that between 2004 and 2011 Aarnio acted in an inappropriate manner by contributing to prostitution. It is also suspected that Aarnio failed to intervene in criminal offences and that there were irregularities in the use of funds between Aarnio and a prostitute. In connection with the investigations into these financial matters, further irregularities were revealed, this time between Aarnio and the tracking device company Trevoc Oy.
It is suspected that Aarnio was disqualified when participating in the tracking device acquisitions of the Helsinki Police Department while being at the same time involved in the activities of the company concerned and also one of the owners of the company. Aarnio is suspected of having arranged financing for the company together with a leading figure of the criminal organisation United Brotherhood and of having received bribes from the company, namely tens of thousands of euros of money, shareholdings and other benefits. Furthermore, it is believed that Aarnio withheld the identity of the real owners of the company. Finnish authorities made purchases from Trevoc for over a million euros. It is likely that these purchases would not have been made if the authorities had been aware of the ownership of the company.
The offences of which Aarnio is suspected in connection with Trevoc are aggravated abuse of public office, aggravated acceptance of a bribe, aggravated fraud and a registration offence. Other persons involved in the activities of Trevoc are suspected of aiding and abetting aggravated abuse of public office as well as aggravated fraud, aggravated giving of bribes and registration offences. The Trevoc investigation has nine other suspects besides Aarnio. Four of them were held in detention during the investigation. One of the suspects is an officer of the Security Intelligence Service.
The most massive searches and seizures in the case were conducted during the Trevoc investigation. These revealed information on the basis of which, in December 2013, there was also reason to suspect Jari Aarnio of aggravated narcotics offences. These suspicions are related to organising large-scale smuggling of hashish from the Netherlands into Finland between 2011 and 2012.
In December 2011, the Dutch Police found a barrel destined for Finland with 141 kg of hashish concealed in it. They contacted the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland, which opened a criminal investigation into the case together with the Helsinki Police Department. The National Bureau of Investigation was responsible for investigating the smuggling of the drugs into Finland, and the Helsinki Police Department investigated their distribution in the country.
The criminal investigation established the role of six persons in the smuggling. They were convicted to long prison sentences in 2012–2013. It is now believed that Aarnio was involved in this criminal activity.
Two other persons are also suspected of aggravated narcotics offences in connection with the drug smuggling concerned. One of them is the above mentioned leader of United Brotherhood, with whom Aarnio is believed to have been in close contact for years. This leader has been placed in detention since 2013.
Four officers of the Helsinki Police were apprehended and arrested in connection with the narcotics offence investigation. One of them was also held in detention. They are also suspected of having violated their official duties in connection with Aarnio's attempts to hamper the criminal investigation carried out by the National Bureau of Investigation, for example by requesting a court to authorise coercive measures without reasonable grounds as well as by using such measures. These police officers, who worked under Aarnio at the time, are not suspected of complicity in the narcotics offences.
Furthermore, the criminal investigation has revealed a number of other criminal suspicions against Aarnio. For example, it is believed that Aarnio disclosed secret information on the Suspect Data System to the media and divulged details of the covert human intelligence source and undercover activities of the police to third parties. In addition to Aarnio, a few officers working under him are suspected of these acts.
The irregularities in the covert human intelligence source activities of the Helsinki Police Department having come to light in November 2013, Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen made a request for an investigation to the Office of the Prosecutor General. As a result, a criminal investigation was launched into the matter and it was included as part of the Aarnio case. This investigation is still ongoing.
The amount of Aarnio's assets the origin of which has not been identified currently totals several hundreds of thousands of euros. It is suspected that part of these assets were used to build a house in Porvoo. In May 2014, a large stash of cash was found hidden in the ground near the house concerned. Members of Aarnio's close family and friends are suspected of aggravated money laundering.
The criminal investigation of the case has been massive. The record of investigation contains close to 19,000 pages altogether. Over 30 investigators worked on the case on a daily basis, and more than 80 officials in total participated in the investigation during the different operations. Close to 120 witnesses were interviewed and over 50 searches of premises conducted during the investigation.
The investigations into the offences allegedly committed by Jari Aarnio and other police officers have been led by District Prosecutors Krista Soukola and Jukka Haavisto from the Prosecutor's Office of Eastern Uusimaa. The National Bureau of Investigation and the Western Uusimaa Police Department have been in charge of investigating the other offences. Several other authorities also took part in the investigation, including the Eastern Uusimaa Police Department, Helsinki Police Department, Border Guard and the Finnish Defence Forces.
All suspects deny having committed the suspected offences. The deadline for bringing charges in the case is on 31 July 2014. The prosecutor of the case is Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske, who is assisted by three other prosecutors.
Further information: District Prosecutor Jukka Haavisto, Prosecutor's Office of Eastern Uusimaa (offences committed by Aarnio and other police officers), tel. +358 295 621 207; Detective Chief Inspector Rabbe von Hertzen, National Bureau of Investigation (the narcotics offence investigation), tel. +358 295 486 569; Detective Inspector Kai Käkelä, National Bureau of Investigation (the Trevoc investigation), tel. +358 295 486 848