An official of the Ministry of Finland who is suspected of receiving bribes and abuse of office

Two other people have been arrested earlier in the preliminary investigation on suspicion of aggravated .

“In the preliminary investigation, it is suspected that the bribes have significantly benefited and facilitated the official processes related to the operations of the shop”, Teemu Mäntyniemithe police criminal police responsible for the preliminary investigation (KRP) stated on Thursday.

reported on Friday that Soraiin has played a key role in the planning of measures to combat labor exploitation in the Ministry of Economy and Labour. He served as the chairman of the group on the fight against exploitation set up by the ministry and participated in the preparation of the law approved last year to improve the status of foreign berry pickers in .

The law has given labor protection authorities the opportunity to monitor the working conditions of berry pickers, but it has also been criticized for being insufficient.

Since Sorainen was arrested as a suspect and not on the basis of probable cause, the investigators must submit a new request to the district court to extend the detention for more than a week. The suspected crimes took place between the beginning of 2019 and Wednesday 26 October 2022, According to Helsingin Sanomat.

Kimmo Nuotioprofessor of criminal law from the University of Helsinki on Friday told newspaper that it is very unusual for a high-ranking ministry official to be suspected of gross bribery and gross abuse of public office in Finland.

Minister of Labour (SDP) described the doubts as serious on Saturday e-mail to the newspaper.

“We are talking about relatively serious suspicions. I am very sorry and sad for them,” he wrote. “During the current election period, we have done a lot of to prevent the exploitation of foreign labor. We must continue this work with even greater determination.”

The other two suspects are the CEO of Polarica, Jukka Kristo, who is the owner of the company that recruited the Thai Polarica collectors. Both have been in pretrial detention since the beginning of the month, initially on suspicion of human trafficking and later on aggravated human trafficking.

The companies are believed to have engaged in human trafficking by deceiving, abusing and subjecting berry pickers to forced labor-like work. It is believed that the collectors were dependent on the employer and, for example, were accommodated in poor conditions.

Mäntyniemi revealed earlier that the number of victims is believed to be dozens, although not everyone necessarily knows or recognizes that they have become victims of human trafficking.

The preliminary investigation has been carried out in cooperation with the Thai and Swedish law enforcement authorities. SVT, the Swedish public broadcasting company, reported earlier this month, the had notified the police of suspicious activities.

Founded in 1972, Polarica is one of Finland’s largest forest berry companies. It also operates in , and Sweden.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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