A group of German canoeists, who illegally set up camp on a private Finnish beach, have been allowed to paddle to freedom after police deemed that a full-scale investigation would not be a good use of resources.
The group of 20 attracted widespread publicity in the Finnish press when they came ashore in the yard of a private cottage in Leppavirta, eastern Finland, two weeks ago.
They claimed they were unable to land elsewhere because of the rocky shoreline, and that they could not move on for several days because one member of the group was suffering from a migraine.
Despite the Germans claiming that they had been given permission to camp at the grounds by the cottage owner, he denied this and reported a disturbance of domestic peace to the police. The prosecutor has since decided, however, that the resources required to launch a preliminary investigation would not be justified by the severity of the crime.
Sergeant Ari Hautala, of the North Savo, pointed out that the highest penalty for such actions would be a mere fine. “There are nearly twenty people involved, and it would be difficult to find them all,” he said in a YLE report. “Nobody was hurt, and property was not damaged,” he added.