Friday, June 2, 2023

Preliminary investigation into an extensive fraud ring completed – Police: Suspect demanded more than 1.5 million in criminal profits


According to the police, the victims of the suspected scam were mistaken for unfounded business activities, which were related to, for example, taxis and virtual currency investments.

Police in Itä-Uusimaa have completed a comprehensive preliminary investigation into the crimes of fraud related to cryptocurrency investments. The matter has now gone to the prosecution.

The police suspect that one person is guilty of a total of twelve different offenses of cheating. More than 70 individual offenses have been brought to the prosecution. The offenses occurred between October 11, 2022, and February 8, 2023.

According to the police, the suspect has mistaken the respective owners, i.e. the alleged victims, for baseless business activities, which are related, for example, to taxis and virtual currency investments.

In this way, according to police, the suspect obtained victims’ personal information and identities in order to apply for loans from financial institutions and order goods from online stores.

In one case, according to the police, the suspect also misled his close relative by making a baseless threat to his life, thereby obtaining the money for himself.

– The suspect appeared to the victims under his own name and using a made up name. In a police release, the head of the investigation, Crime Commissioner Juha Springare, says that as a rule, victims have been given credit, which has made it possible to obtain considerable debt and thereby cause significant criminal damage and criminal profit.

After gaining control of the funds, the person is suspected of aggravated money laundering. According to the police, he systematically concealed the origin of the funds through multiple bank accounts and using virtual currency services.

Based on what has emerged in the preliminary investigation, the suspect has been the main planner and the real key factor in each of the money laundering incidents. In very few cases of money laundering, the suspect has an accomplice.

– Based on the preliminary investigation, the total criminal damages and criminal gains amount to 202,308.30 Euros. The total target for fraud and attempted fraud is EUR 1,588,113.30, which includes the above-mentioned proceeds of crime. Some of the proceeds of crime have been recovered by the authorities, but much of it has been lost. Police have traced significant amounts of virtual assets to identified targets, but seizing them in the current system is too challenging and has not been done so far, Springare, the head of investigations, said in a press release.

The main accused in the fraud racket is still in custody. The deadline to indict the group is early June.

The police had already announced a preliminary investigation and the arrest of the suspect in March. The investigation is carried out in cooperation with the police departments of Helsinki and Western Uusimaa and the Central Criminal Police.

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