Finland clamp down on under-age drinking

Alcohol in FinlandThree people who bought alcohol on behalf of Finnish under-age drinkers have each been given tough sentences by the Vantaa district court. The leader of the trio, a 59-year-old man, has been charged with tobacco sales crimes, weapons crimes, alcohol crimes and tax fraud. He will face three years in prison. One co-conspirator was sentenced to a two year jail sentence and the third partner in crime has been given a six month suspended prison sentence.

Alongside their prison sentences the three have also been ordered to pay court costs and thousands of Euros in compensation to the Customs Board.

Local authorities estimate that the three men, who are close relatives, traveled to Estonia almost 50 times over a several years, in order to purchase alcohol and tobacco to sell to under-age drinkers back in Finland. It’s thought that they imported thousands of litres of alcohol into the country.

Their illegal operation was uncovered when a father followed the three after his son bought alcohol from them.

Further issues of under-age drinking in Finland have come to light. Local alcohol action group Pakka-Hanke has discovered that not enough alcohol vendors in Finland are requesting ID. These finding were revealed after they sent 18 year old ‘secret shoppers’ to try and purchase alcohol in the Pori region. Around 25 percent of the 170 sales they monitored did not ask for ID, even though it is the national policy to ask anyone who looks under the age of 30 to give proof of their age.