Forged Independence Day invitations to researchers on immigration
Forged invitations to the President’s Independence Day reception have been sent to researchers specialised in immigration issues.
One immigration specialist interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat received a fake invitation to the event on Monday. The expert says that at least a few colleagues have also received bogus invitations.
The recipient, who wants to remain anonymous, guessed immediately that the invitation that came in the mail was not genuine.
“Yes, I get so much harassing mail that I guessed that this was part of it”, the expert said on Wednesday.
“It is clear that this is some kind of nut, but I don’t know who the nut is.”
The recipient did not find the prank to be particularly funny.
“There should be debate on immigration in Finland. Is this it? I am amazed, and I am watching with slight amusement what all will come in the mail. Why is there no discussion on these matters?”
The bogus invitation was reported to the authorities, who took the card for investigation.
“Someone came to get the invitation, and to take fingerprints. He was just doing his job and didn’t ask or comment on anything.” The researcher has not reported any of the previous cases of abusive mail to the police.
At the Helsinki Police, Kari Tolvanen, head of the violent crimes unit, said on Wednesday that the police have been told of “a few” forged invitations.
The police, working in cooperation with the President’s Office, are looking into how many forgeries emerge.
Tolvanen says that only when more invitations are available, will it be possible to form a closer profile of those who may be behind the scheme. The police are investigating the matter as a case of attempted fraud.
President Tarja Halonen said on Wednesday that she has no idea why someone would send forged invitations to her Independence Day gala reception.
The President said that she had discussed the matter with her own security unit, and had come to the conclusion that there was a “very small number” of invitations.
As she sees it, the matter is not especially dangerous.
However, as a precaution, it has been decided that no instructions would be made public on how personnel at the Presidential Palace will be able to distinguish between a forged invitation and the real thing.
A telephone number was made public for those wanting to check if their invitation is genuine.
President Halonen said that many of those who were invited will be able to recognise the invitation as genuine. For instance, all Members of Parliament are automatically invited to the event.
She added that among those who got a fake invitation, there may be people who could have been worthy of being invited, but that “it does not change this year’s situation in any way”.
So those who received a false invitation will not be given a real one as compensation of some kind.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Police investigating forged invitations to President’s Independence Day reception (19.11.2008)