*Article archived from poliisi.fi on June 30, 2016. Originally published on August 13, 2008.
Over 700 criminal complaints on WinCapita – Finnish police
At the initial stage of the pre-trial investigation concerning the investment club WinCapita (former WinClub), the police focus on the money transactions and members of the club as well as the real nature of the activity. On the one hand, the police suspect that the club organized a money collection in the form of a pyramid scheme, which is illegal in Finland. For this reason, one of the suspected offenses is a money collection offense. On the other hand, the police aim to establish whether some of the persons involved in the activity committed frauds against those who invested money in the club. Thus far, around twenty persons have reported the matter to the police.
According to currently available information, close to 10,000 Finnish citizens participated in the club’s activities. The operating principle of the club was similar to network marketing in general. The club was created and run by a small group of persons, under whom there were “promoters” at different levels, who recruited investors to the club. The investors were often recruited among the promoter’s friends and acquaintances.
Based on the available information, the persons running the club are mainly Finnish. The police have taken measures to catch the suspects.
The pre-trial investigation has established so far that a company registered in Panama is behind the activities of WinCapita/WinClub.
The club’s money transactions stopped on 7 March 2008, when the club shut down their website meant for investors.
Interviews and questionings of several club members have revealed that the club has not paid the promised “profits” to the investors since the website was shut down.
There are many rumors among the club members about why the club stopped its operation. Therefore, the police would like to bring the facts to the notice of the members.
One rumor has it that the money transactions of the club were stopped because the police started to investigate the case. This rumor is not true. The police did not take any investigative measures concerning WinCapita before 25 March 2008, when the pre-trial investigation was launched.
The other rumor is that the club management themselves requested the police to investigate the case because the club had been used for money laundering. The National Bureau of Investigation is not aware of any such request.