NBI has no evidence on donated weapons delivered to Finland

Publication date 1.11.2022 16.25
News item

The public may have been under the impression that weapons donated and delivered to Ukraine would have ended up in the hands of operators in organised crime in Finland. The National Bureau of Investigation has no information on delivering such weapons to Finland.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE reported on Sunday 30 October 2022 on weapons being trafficked from Ukraine to Finland. The story was based on YLE’s interview of Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren of the NBI. Based on the interview, YLE published a story in Finnish and a shorter version in English. 

The NBI considers that the perception, based on the interview, that weapons donated to Ukraine are being trafficked to members of organised crime in Finland, is not accurate. The police have no evidence showing that donated weapons would have been smuggled from Ukraine to Finland.

– We don't know that weapons supplied to Ukraine would have ended up in the hands of criminals in Finland, says Markus Välimäki, Deputy Director of the NBI.

The police seize numerous unlicensed weapons from members of organised crime every year and are aware that individual operators are interested in weapons used in war zones. The police have indications that, in the long run, members of organised crime may try to acquire weapons from Ukraine, too.

– Based on the interview of our expert, people may have got the impression that there have already been weapons trafficked to Finland. However, we have no evidence of such phenomenon. Our purpose was to show that there is a possibility that criminals operating in Finland are trying to obtain weapons from conflict zones, says Välimäki.

The NBI has identified individual members of organised crime who have travelled to Ukraine during the war. The police constantly monitor the situation and maintain situational awareness of the impact of the Russia’s offensive war on Finland. 

Wars have typically been accompanied by illegal arms trafficking, which provides an opportunity for criminals to profit from the situation. The problem has been identified in armed conflicts around the world; the phenomenon is not linked to the origin of the weapons used in the conflict.

– In all situations, the police must consider potential risks in advance. In this case, a potential risk has been identified, but at least for the moment it has not yet materialised, says Välimäki.

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