Helsinki court jails anti-drug chief Jari Aarnio for drug smuggling
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Aarnio, who maintains his innocence, was among thirteen defendants prosecuted over the import and distribution of Dutch hashish totaling about 800 in 2011–12. Ordered into immediate custody, Aarnio was convicted of all 22 charges he faced. Five were of aggravated drug offence, with other offences including , threatening a suspect, and aggravated .
In addition to prison time, Aarnio was ordered to hand over more than1.3m and a property. Colleague Mikael Runeberg was convicted of nine offences and also jailed, receiving a three-and-a-half year sentence. The court found Runeberg attempted to set up an innocent man in the case. Aarnio tried to hide the identities of co-conspirators and prevent investigations proceeding.
Aarnio, 59, worked his way up to his position in theover a 30-year anti-drugs career. It is his second jail term for corruption. He was found guilty of aggravated fraud in an unrelated case from 2013 connected to his interest in a firm selling surveillance technology to the police. Also convicted of aggravated abuse of public office and aggravated acceptance of bribes, his sentence in that case was set at three years by the .
Aarnio says he intends to appeal and had argued he acted lawfully. Riitta Leppiniemi, defending, said the court may have failed to understand his department's work. The court ruled the convicts offended "with premeditation while unscrupulously abusing the position of a police officer." It also said they "took advantage of the judicial system and forcible police measures" and "contributed to reducing public trust in police operations and were therefore damaging for the entire society," in a press release.
The prosecution sought a thirteen-year term. Aarnio was taken from court toPrison.
Denmark is ranked higher.
- Aleksi Teivainen, Jari Aarnio, Helsinki's ex-head of drug enforcement, jailed for ten years" — , December 30, 2016. "
- 10-year prison sentence for ex-drug squad chief Jari Aarnio" — , December 29, 2016, . "
- AFP, Reuters, AP. "Ex-drug squad chief jailed for smuggling hash into Helsinki" — , December 29, 2016