District Police Departments
PO Box 285
Tel. +358 71 878 0141*
Organised crime in Finland
Organised crime groups in Finland are mainly engaged in drug business, however, they seem to increasingly favour financial crime almost as much. The authorities see cyber crime and payment card fraud as growing threats.
Based on criminal intelligence gathered in cooperation between the police, customs and border guard authorities (PCB cooperation), both the number of organised crime groups and the number of their members have gone down in the past couple of years. According to official data, at the end of 2009, there were 66 organised crime groups operating in Finland with a total of 948 members - 12 groups and 187 members fewer than in the previous year. We do not know of any obvious reason for the decrease.
Organised crime in Finland is heavily Finnish. Only a few organised crime groups comprise solely non-Finnish members. Finnish groups have some foreign members, who mainly come from our neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, organised crime operations of non-Finnish origin still extend to Finland, as non-Finnish crime groups supply illicit goods and services to Finnish groups, commit crimes ordered by their leaders abroad and route their activities through Finland. Especially the Finnish organised crime groups engaged in drug crime have good contacts and cooperation partners abroad.
As regards property crime, so-called hit-and-run offences instigated abroad have become more common. Offenders arrive in Finland only to commit a series of pre-planned robberies, burglaries or thefts and leave the country after that as soon as possible. For a large part, these offences bear the signature of organised crime.
In respect to payment card fraud, many organised crime groups, Bulgarian and Romanian in particular, are specialised in stealing card holders’ identities. Every month since January 2009, a foreign crime group of specialised payment card fraudsters has been detected in Finland, either copying payment card data or using payment cards copied in Finland earlier on.
While cyber crime has not yet caused considerable damage in Finland, the amount of proceeds of such crime has been on the rise. Such new global means of communication as mobile devices and the Internet reduce the risk of apprehension considerably and enable the criminals responsible for the different phases of the criminal act to anonymously get in touch with each other and arrange cooperation.
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