An identified woman organized brothels in diplomatic apartments
The Police of Finland currently interrogate two Russian diplomats in connection with the case of brothels that were supposedly organized through the mediation of the Russian Trade Mission. The hostess of the brothel has already entered a guilty plea.
The Russian Trade Mission in Finland did not own the brothels, but leased apartments for the purpose, spokespeople for the Russian Trade Mission and Foreign Ministry concluded as a result of an internal investigation. The Finnish police have not completed their investigation yet.
The above-mentioned two Russian diplomats act as witnesses in the case. Finland has already sent an official inquiry to Russia asking for permission to interrogate Russian diplomats despite their diplomatic immunity.
The international scandal occurred in the middle of October 2004. According to the Finnish authorities, the police were informed about brothels that appeared in several apartments in the center of Helsinki. The apartments belonged to the Russian Trade Mission. The police decided to check the information: prostitutes were arrested in three apartments as a result of the raid. The prostitutes had high-quality fake documents with them. The “personnel” of the brothels counted more than 200 prostitutes, spokespeople for Finnish law-enforcement authorities said.
The 41-year-old hostess of the brothels was arrested later, on October 18, a Finnish police officer said. The woman used to reside in Russia, although her current citizenship has not been exposed. The woman said that she owned whorehouses in ten apartments that belonged to the Russian Trade Mission. The brothels were working in Helsinki for 16 months from 2003 to 2004.
The brothel owner has reportedly received 170,000 euros of profit. The woman might be sentenced to six years in jail, according to Finnish laws. Apparently, Russian diplomats will not be called into criminal account in connection with the case. The police do not expect to obtain any important help from their interrogation: the Russian Trade Mission strongly rejects its implication in Helsinki's sex industry.
The head of the Russian Trade Mission, Valeri Shlyamin, stated in November of 2004 that the information about Russian diplomats' participation in the criminal business was absolutely untrue. Shlyamin said that the Trade Mission was leasing apartments on absolutely legal grounds, although no renter could keep vigilant watch over tenants' private lives. Shlyamin complained of the police officers' actions and filed an adequate claim at the Foreign Ministry of Finland.
According to the information from the Finnish law-enforcement authorities, about 10,000 women render sexual services in Finland. Almost two-thirds of the Finnish prostitutes come from Russia and Baltic states.
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