WinCapita fugitive arrested in Swedish town
Hannu Kailajärvi, the main suspect in the WinCapita investment fraud case, has been arrested in Nässjö in the south of Sweden. The Stockholm office of Interpol says that the arrest took place on Wednesday.
The WinCapita investment club collected about EUR 100 million from tens of thousands of Finns before it collapsed and Kailajärvi went missing.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) says that Kailajärvi’s whereabouts were investigated in cooperation with Swedish police, and the arrest took place without incident. Maria Vuorivirta-Heikkinen of the NBI says that the arrest came as a surprise to Kailajärvi.
The NBI has learned that the man had been living in Nässjö, a community of 30,000, people for some time. The authorities do not yet know exactly how long he had been there, or exactly where else he may have stayed while running from the law.
Vuorivirta-Heikkinen says that police had believed “for some time” that Kailajärvi was somewhere in the Nordic Countries. However, she would not say how long he has been in Sweden, or if he had spent time in other countries as well.
“We can assume that he has been abroad for months.”
Kailajärvi was remanded in absentia by Oulu District Court in May this year, and an international arrest warrant for him was made public a month ago. He is suspected of a number of crimes, including aggravated fraud.
On Friday the NBI said that Kailajärvi was in custody in Sweden. Vuorivirta-Heikkinen would not say where he was being held.
According to a local radio station in Jönköping, he was remanded in custody on Friday by Eksjö District Court.
Vuorivirta-Heikkinen said that it could take between weeks and a few months before he is brought to Finland - depending on if Kailajärvi fights extradition.
The suspect can be interrogated on the WinCapita case only after he is extradited. In Finland, he faces a new remand hearing.
Kailajärvi is not the only fugitive wanted in the WinCapita case. Vuorivirta-Heikkinen says that international arrest warrants have been issued for more than one person.
More than 1,100 criminal complaints have been lodged over the alleged pyramid scheme.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Police looking for main suspect in WinCapita fraud case (14.11.2008)
Looking for Mr. WinCapita (14.9.2008)