Former Kouvola Mayor Questioned For Links With Illegal Immigration

Former Kouvola Mayor Questioned for Links with Illegal Immigration

YLE News
November 12, 2009
published Thu 03:17 PM, updated Thu 04:49 PM

Police suspect the former mayor of Kouvola, Aimo Ahti, of being involved in obtaining residence permits on false pretences. The suspicions are linked to Wednesday's raids on several Chinese sites in the city, including the Nordic China Center.

The Border Guard suspects that Ahti collaborated with criminals organising illegal immigration for Chinese nationals wanting to get to into Europe through Finland in August of 2008.

Ahti says it's possible his signature was forged.

Ahti and the director of a business promotions agency Yritysmagneetti, Sirkku Seila, say they have signed dozens of visa invitations for Chinese visitors. Seila, who was contacted in Moscow, says she was shocked by the news. She has not been contacted by police.

On Thursday, police formally arrested seven people who had been detained for questioning during raids on several Chinese sites in Kouvola which they believe were used to organize illegal immigration into Finland. The identities of those arrested were not immediately made public.