Professional Crime in Finland in the 1990s

Mika Junninen, HEUNI

The study describes Finnish professional criminal groups: their structures, internal/external relations and the development of the group participants' individual characteristics during the 1990s in Finland and in cross-border operations. The crime area studied were different kinds of smuggling (drugs, alcohol and tobacco), delivering and procuring prostitutes, economic crime (money laundering) and dealing in stolen goods. The empirical material covers 14 different Finnish groups that were active in the 1990s.

The purpose of the study is tripartite: 1) to analyze individual characteristics of the participants (age, gender, marital status, etc.) of the 14 Finnish groups studied, 2) to analyze the crimes that were committed according to selected crime areas (smuggling alcohol, tobacco and drugs, procuring prostitutes, handling stolen goods) and, 3) to analyze how the groups that were studied were structured during the 1990s in Finland and in cross-border operations.

The purpose of this tripartite illustration structure is to clarify the characteristics of Finnish professional criminals, crimes committed and to demarcate between group criminality functioning on a temporary basis and long-running, more permanently organized criminal groups. The objective for studying the personal charcteristics of group members, the crimes that they commit and the structures of the groups was to gather collective information about the world of Finnish professional criminals.

The empirical data were collected using non-structured thematic interviews with 15 offenders and one group interview with six offenders. The total number of personal in-depth interviews conducted was 33 and the taped discussions totaled around 50 hours. The selection of the persons to be interviewed was based on various public sources (TV, radio and newspaper), and the persons interviewed were those most prominently in the headlines in the 1990s.

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Updated 05/20/2006