Jari Aarnio, former head of Helsinki’s drug police, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for aggravated narcotics offences and other crimes on Thursday. The Helsinki District Court handed Aarnio the full sentence demanded by prosecutors.
According to the District Court, Aarnio was the infamous “Pasila man” who led an operation to import 791 kilograms of hash to Finland. The drugs, stored in barrels, were brought in between March 2011 and January 2012, when Aarnio was in charge of Helsinki’s drug police.
Pasila is a reference to a Helsinki neighborhood, where phones used by the leader of the drug ring, now confirmed by the District Court to be Aarnio, were used.
Aarnio was also convicted of a number of other crimes, including trying to frame an innocent man of being in charge of the drug ring.
”Before being caught, Aarnio has during the years 2012–2013 been shown to have obstructed in a number of ways the investigation of the importing of the hash barrels. He has also been shown to have tried in other ways to prevent himself and other people involved in the operation from being caught”, the Court stated in its press briefing.
The District Court ordered Aarnio to be imprisoned immediately.
“The District Court concludes that Aarnio has flagrantly abused his position in Helsinki’s drug police and therefore is guilty of a number of aggravated and lesser abuses of public office.”
Aarnio has strongly denied all charges throughout the multi-year trial. According to him, all his actions are related to legal acts while in office and the operations of Helsinki’s drug police.
Aarnio’s legal team has said that Aarnio plans to appeal the District Court’s sentence to the Helsinki Court of Appeal.
Last September Aarnio was convicted in the Helsinki Court of Appeal to three years in jail in a different case related to equipment purchases of Helsinki’s drug police. He was convicted of aggravated abuse of public office, aggravated fraud and aggravated acceptance of a bribe.