Former deputy director of Finnish police rapid response unit sentenced for fraud, abuse of power

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-21 23:19:10|Editor: yan
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HELSINKI, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Helsinki district court on Thursday issued a verdict in a major fraud case involving a former deputy director of the rapid response unit known as Bear Squad of the Police of Finland.

The court has sentenced Timo Lillqvist, 60, to two and a half years in prison, for aggravated fraud and aggravated misuse of official position targeting at the police department, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to the verdict, Lillqvist and Olli Salo, owner of Finnrappel, a security equipment company, misled the Helsinki police department to pay more than 150,000 euros to the company on the basis of false invoices. The money from the company ended up in bank accounts managed by Lillqvist.

The police unit purchased clothing and special equipment from Finnrappel during the period between 2005 and 2012.

Lillqvist played a central and independent role in the procurement of equipment for Bear Squad, and also a contact person between the police unit and Finnrappel, said the court decision.

Olli Salo, 60, has been sentenced to two years and four months in jail for gross fraud, two counts of aggravated tax fraud, two counts of aggravated book-keeping offense and aggravated firearm offense. Salo was also banned from business for three years.

The court ruled that Lillqvist and Salo are jointly responsible to pay a total of 151,487 euros to the Helsinki police department for damages, and more than 16,000 euros for legal costs. In addition, Salo is ordered to pay more than 86,000 euros to the Tax Administration for damages.

However, both of the convicted denied having committed any crime. It is possible for them to appeal to the Court of Appeal. (one euro currently equals to 1.11 U.S. dollars)