World News

Former Helsinki drug squad police chief jailed for 10 years

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The former head of Helsinki police’s drugs squad was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years in jail for drug smuggling, official misconduct and other crimes including tampering with evidence.

Jari Aarnio faces a total of 13 years in prison, including a previous three-year jail term related to the purchase of police surveillance equipment.

The case is rare in Finland, whose public sector ranks second least corrupt in the world after Denmark, according to anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Helsinki district court found Aarnio guilty of organizing the smuggling of about 900 kg (1,000 pounds) of hashish into Finland from the Netherlands and of preventing police colleagues investigating the case.

The court said in a statement that Aarnio had ruthlessly abused his position and his actions had endangered public trust in the police.

Aarnio, arrested in 2013, had denied all charges.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Janet Lawrence