A preliminary money laundering investigation in Finland has found that millions of Euros were transferred as part of an illegal lottery scheme between 2016 and 2022.
The probe found that two people from another country sold and distributed unauthorised lottery tickets in violation of the Lotteries Act while living in Finland.
The main suspect in the investigation, Finland’s Central Criminal Police said, managed the operation and the transfer of money. They accepted monetary stakes in the lotteries brokered in Finland and accounted for winnings based on the results of lottery rounds in another country, the investigation said, with almost €1m made in profit from the illegal scheme.
The second person in the probe persuaded players to take part and took bets, and a third suspect is alleged to have participated in the process.
Janne Takkunen, the Criminal District Commissioner and the head of the investigation, said: “This is a quite exceptional criminal investigation in Finland. The topic has been less prominent in the public eye, but this kind of suspected illegal gambling has been a phenomenon in Finland for a long time.
“In this case, the suspect had kept in touch with his clientele on Facebook, among other things, where he had also published related messages and information about prized game rounds.”
The investigation moved to prosecution in October.