A total of 66 people were interrogated during an investigation into widespread corruption at the Education Department of the City of Helsinki, says Helsinki Police Department.
Police have wrapped up a pre-trial investigation into a massive corruption case where a former employee is suspected of ordering nine million euros worth of equipment for the City of Helsinki’s Education Department in 2006–2016.
The computers, mobile phones and other electronics were never delivered to the department but sold to individuals all over Finland.
The former employee is suspected of aggravated fraud and aggravated abuse of public office.
“The suspected offences were deliberate because the suspect had broad powers to make procurements due to his senior position and, especially, because he was able to utilise his senior position to conceal the offences,” tells Urpo Mäkelä, the senior detective superintendent in charge of the pre-trial investigation at Helsinki Police Department.
Mäkelä and his colleagues interrogated a total of 66 people during the course of the investigation and suspect some of them of offences ranging from offences in office to aggravated money laundering. For example, four superiors of the main suspect are suspected of offences in office and two of them also of embezzlement.
The pre-trial investigation also found that employees had acquired and claimed equipment for the department in a manner that violates the regulations of the City of Helsinki.
“Employees were found in possession of IT equipment and entertainment electronics acquired for the Education Department. [The equipment] had been in private use. A total of 16 current and former employees are consequently suspected of fraud and embezzlement,” says Mäkelä.
The investigators managed to recover 900,000 euros worth of criminal profits during the investigation. In addition, devices worth roughly 340,000 euros have been confiscated and returned to the City of Helsinki's Education Department.
The case has been presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges.