Police in Helsinki recently conducted a search in a van that at least some of the Romanians who have been begging on the city’s streets have used as a place to sleep.
The search yielded a number of stolen mobile telephones, cameras, music players, and at least one GPS car navigator. Petri Juvonen of the Helsinki police say that some of the goods were wrapped in paper and taped beneath the ceiling panels of the vehicles.
Police arrested four Romanian citizens, three of whom were later remanded in custody by Helsinki District Court on suspicion of theft.
Those arrested included one woman about 60 years of age and two men of about 30, one of whom is the son of the older woman. All three had sold flowers on the centre of Helsinki. Juvonen says that all three could face two months of pretrial detention… HS.fi
However, the head of the investigation unit of the Aliens’ Police, Jaakko Heinilä, suspects that begging and criminal activities linked with it have come to Finland to stay.
He says that expulsion from the country will be considered for the Romanians that are now being held.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Beggars on their knees cause consternation on Helsinki streets (21.10.2007)
Authorities powerless to act against beggars with children in tow (6.8.2007)