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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sentence

Below I had an entry about the arrest and confinement of two South Korean men suspected of aggravated arrangement of illegal entry to Finland in early July. The two men and the five Chinese women they were taking to Europe with counterfeit South Korean passports stood trial last week. (I will not comment on the case more than what's been published in the media because I was involved as an interpreter both in the police investigation and in the trial.)

The two men were convicted for what they were charged; aggravated because the court saw them acting as part, albeit as fringe players, of an organization, of which the prime movers remain somewhere in China. The sentences were 12 months and 10 months, of which they'll do only half as first offenders. The five women were given probation sentences for using the counterfeit passports, which means that they'll be sent home soon, with worries how to pay the 12-13 000 euros that their families owe to the arrangers for the trip.

The comment that I'll allow is that the legislation that was used in sentencing the two men was mostly a result of Finland's poor record in an official US report on human trafficking and illegal immigration. As far as I understood that was mostly because of the lack of legislation forbidding precisely these kinds of activities – notwithstanding the fact that other legislation was available to curb it. In the 2003 report Finland was placed at the tier 2 of three tiers- while South Korea was on the top tier...

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