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Finnish police apology for erroneously blacklisting Putin

April 10, 2013, 19:25 UTC+3

This happened because of a personal mistake by one of our staffers

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HELSINKI, April 10 (Itar-Tass) - Finnish police presented public apologies on Wednesday for the mistake of a policemen putting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the “black list” of people suspected of ties to organized crime.

“Indeed, the name of Vladimir Putin was on that list, but this happened because of a personal mistake by one of our staffers,” Finnish National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero told Tass.

“At the present time the error has been eliminated. I deeply regret that this has become possible and on behalf of Finnish police I express deep regrets in connection with what happened,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Finnish media outlets reported “sensational news” that the name of the Russian president had been put on certain secret “black lists” of Finnish Central Criminal Police for his ties with the “Nochnye Volki” (Night Wolves) Moscow bikers’ club.

Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV3 reported earlier in the day that Finnish police suspected Putin might have contributed to organized crime and information about that was “kept in an ultrasecret police registry,” to which only several dozen specially trained policemen have an access”.

Paatero could not specify how long the name of the Russian leader had been on the list, but pledged this would not carry any consequences. He also said members of the motorcycle club were not on the list either.

The chief of Finnish police declined to say how many Russian nationals were on that “black list”.

In reply to an Itar-Tass query whether the Finnish political leadership had been informed about the blacklisting of Vladimir Putin, Paatero said it became known on Wednesday afternoon, after which “we immediately informed the leadership of the country”.

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