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Home NATIONALEx Estonian drug policeman testifies in Aarnio case
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Fri, 23 Oct, 2015 12:02:24 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 23

An Estonian former narcotics police officer spoke of his help in the early 2000s to the detained former Helsinki drug unit police chief Jari Aarnio and a Finnish businessman who was being blackmailed by Chechen criminals.

According to him, Aarnio had invested money in the man’s business and, therefore, Aarnio had personal motives to help the businessman.

The former Estonian narcotics officer was heard on Thursday in the court in the proceedings of the Aarnio case.

According to the Estonian officer, the criminals stopped the blackmail, when he helped the Finnish businessman.

According to him, the man also paid Aarnio his money back.

Aarnio has not yet explained exactly what has become of the nearly half a million euros in cash.

Aarnio claimed he will open about the money later during his own hearing.

According to the prosecutor, Aarnio’s money came from trafficking hundreds of kilos of drugs. Aarnio has denied all charges.

The Estonian police officer’s testimony was heard as prosecutors suspected that he had participated in laundering Aarnio’s drug money.

The man was accused of drug-related crimes as Aarnio loaned him tens of thousands of euros in cash on a couple of occasions at the Helsinki port.

The prosecutor claims the Estonian laundered 35,000 euros. According to the prosecutor, the man is guilty of gross negligence, for example, in being in possession of and using money acquired by Aarnio’s narcotics offences.

According to the Estonian, it is normal in Estonia and other former Soviet countries to manage their finances in cash.

According to him, it would be impossible to evaluate whether the money was criminally acquired.

“[In Estonia] there are a lot of people who keep larger sums [of cash] in metal cabinets, all of which is honest money,” he argued in court.

The prosecutor is asking for at least four months’ imprisonment for the Estonian and 13 years of unconditional imprisonment for Aarnio.

Aarnio, who has been in detention since November 2013, denies all the allegations.

 
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