Almost 2 000 kg of snus smuggled – several suspects
Finnish Customs has investigated a criminal case involving smuggling of snus, where it is suspected that large quantities of snus have been imported from Sweden to Finland in 2021 and 2022. It is estimated that the activity has resulted in almost half a million euros in criminal proceeds.
It is suspected that the snus was smuggled from Haparanda in Sweden to Kemi in Finland, and from there to the Helsinki region. First, the snus was imported to Finland by car, after which it was packed in suitcases in northern Finland and transported further to southern Finland. In Finland, the snus was transported mainly by rail on passenger trains, but also by road. Finnish Customs estimates that the total quantity of smuggled snus is about 1 800 kilograms and the amount of evaded taxes about 735 000 euros.
– We uncovered the suspected offences through our own criminal intelligence activities, but close cooperation between Finnish Customs and various transport service companies has also had a key role in the investigation. During the preliminary investigation, we conducted several house searches in the Helsinki region and in northern Finland and seized large quantities of snus. Snus was also seized from trains and cars in various parts of Finland. Cash suspected of being criminal proceeds was also seized, says the investigator in charge Pasi Lukkarinen.
17 suspects from Finland and Sweden
Customs suspects 17 persons of the offences. Most of them are suspected of having participated in importing the snus and transporting it to southern Finland. When the offences were committed, the suspects were living in the Helsinki region, in northern Finland and in Sweden.
Customs has investigated the criminal case as several aggravated tax frauds and smuggling offences and also as unlawful dealing in imported goods. The preliminary investigation has been concluded and the case has been forwarded to the Prosecution District of Northern Finland for consideration of charges.