One person remanded in absentia for Vastaamo hacking incident
The National Bureau of Investigation has made progress in the criminal investigation of the hacking incident committed against Psychotherapy Centre Vastaamo. A Finnish man has been remanded in absentia on suspicion of the offence. A European arrest warrant has been issued against the suspect.
On 27 October, the Helsinki District Court remanded one person in absentia on probable cause of aggravated computer break-in, attempted aggravated extortion, and aggravated dissemination of information violating personal privacy. The National Bureau of Investigation requested the remand in connection with the criminal investigation of the hacking incident committed against Psychotherapy Centre Vastaamo. The police provided information on the case for the first time in October 2020.
The police have established that the suspect currently resides abroad. For this reason, he was remanded in absentia. A European arrest warrant has been issued against the suspect. He can be arrested abroad under this warrant. After that the police will request his surrender to Finland. An Interpol notice will also be issued against the suspect, who is a Finnish citizen and about 25 years of age.
– We have made significant progress in the investigation and have come to this point through perseverance and diligence. The criminal investigation has been carried out in close cooperation with the local police, and with other national and international authorities. It is still too early to estimate when the case can be referred to the prosecutor for consideration of charges, says Head of Investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Marko Leponen of the National Bureau of Investigation.
The criminal investigation is still ongoing. The police also investigate the suspect's involvement in extorting the victims of the incident and in disseminating the compromised information.
Victims reminded to report the crime to the police and to complete an electronic statement form
About 22,000 victims have reported the crime to the police. Because of the large number of victims, the police obtain statements from the victims electronically. Thus far, the police have only received about 6,400 statements.
– We urge all victims in the case to report the crime to the police, and those who have already done that should complete the electronic statement form. They should complete the form in order to remain parties to the criminal procedure and be able to present their claims in the matter, Marko Leponen says.
The police estimate that around 10,000 victims have not yet reported the crime. You should report the crime if your personal data have leaked to the internet or you have received a blackmail message in relation to the case. After reporting the crime, you may complete the electronic statement form available on police e-services. Instructions on how to report a crime and give an electronic statement can be found on the police website.