The National Bureau of Investigation NBI says it has targeted the United Brotherhood’s criminal network with searches of homes in nine cities, and three prisons.
Over the last week suspected members of the gang, including several leaders, have been arrested after raids in Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä, Lahti, Joensuu, Vantaa, Porvoo, Tuusula and Helsinki.
“A large number of firearms have been found during home searches. Drugs have also been seized from several locations” says the NBI’s Ari Lahtela.
Police arrested 18 people in total, including nine people in Turku alone.
“The arrests in Turku are related to police suspecting that members of the United Brotherhood have organised drugs operations inside prisons, in pursuit of significant financial gains” says Aki Lahtinen the Director of Investigations for the Turku case in Southwest Finland Police Department.
Searches took place today at prisons in Riihimäki, Sukeva and Turku.
“We believe that the United Brotherhoos has a particularly strong influence in these prisons, and that is why the operations were targeted specifically at them” explains Sami Peltovuoma of the Criminal Sanctions Agency.
The searches and arrests in the past week are the culmination of an investigation that went on for more than a year to specifically disrupt the United Brotherhood’s criminal activities in Finland and abroad.
Finnish authorities cooperated with Europol and police forces in Spain, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Colombia in the case.
The United Brotherhood is considered to be the most damaging of the crime gangs working in Finland in terms of the number of violent crimes committed by its members.
“United Brotherhood and its affiliated Bad Union members have been suspected in more than 1300 criminal reports this decade. A large number of these are linked to suspected drug, violence and firearms offenses” says Ari Lahtela.
Police estimate that during the course of the 15-month investigation the United Brotherhood made €2.6 million in criminal profits.