Economy Crimes Skyrocket to Record Levels in 2023, Setting a New Standard!

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Economic crimes rise to all time high in 2023

About 2,400 economic crime cases were reported to the police in 2023 and the number is about 15% higher from the previous year and higher than ever before, said Finnish tax office in a press release on Tuesday.

The weakening economic situation was reflected in the increasing amount of economic crime, bankruptcies and tax debt.

More than half (54%) of all economic crime cases recorded by the police were tax and accounting offences or offences involving debtors.

In particular, aggravated accounting offences, tax offences, dishonesty by a debtor and forgeries, as well as subsidy fraud cases and embezzlement cases increased from the previous year.

In 2023, more than 3,300 bankruptcy petitions were submitted, up by 24.8% from the previous year.

The number of company reorganisations has also shown a significant increase since the beginning of 2023.

In 2023, a total of 448 applications for company reorganisation were submitted, which is up by around 32% from the previous year. The enforcement authority collected nearly €1.2 billion, the second-highest of all time in terms of euros.

In the tax audits that the Tax Administration conducted in 2023 to combat shadow economy, a total of €95 million in unreported income and €16 million in undeclared wages were detected. The value of detected falsified documents amounted to €13 million.

The total value of Kela benefit misuse cases that led to a police investigation request was over €3.8 million.

The misuse of Kela benefits is also often linked to certain shadow economy phenomena, such as undeclared wages and falsified documents. Around 85% of the cases where Kela requested police investigation resulted in a judgment.

The supervision of foreign labour carried out by the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the occupational safety and health authorities revealed that labour-related exploitation and disguised employment relationships (bogus self-employment) are still on the increase. This is particularly evident in the construction sector, but it was also detected in the cleaning sector, in garages and laundries and in seasonal work.

In addition, inaccuracies were detected in working hour accounting in nearly half (46%) of the cases audited. Inaccurate working hour records make it difficult to assess whether the pay is correct as the actual hours worked cannot be determined.

Because of the rapid increase in the amount of economic crime, the case processing times are increasingly long.

"One reason for longer processing times is fragmentation," said Janne Marttinen, Head of the Grey Economy Information Unit.

"Changes in working life from traditional employment relationships to platform economy, light entrepreneurship and forced entrepreneurship have led to a situation where smaller and smaller operators are engaged in the shadow economy. The economic impact of a single case may be small but, nonetheless, cases must be investigated. Control and criminal investigation of these cases require as much authority resources as large cases do," said Marttinen.

Criminal damage recorded by the police totalled €147 million. The amount of criminal proceeds from economic crime, recovered assets, amounted to €24.5 million.

Of the partial decisions on residence permits for entrepreneurs issued by the Uusimaa ELY Centre, 48% were negative, which is 8% more than in the previous year.

The most common reasons for negative partial decisions include inadequate compliance with statutory obligations and non-viable business ideas.

The impact of the investigation of economic crime conducted by Customs was €103 million in total.

Customs recorded 492 regulation offences regarding violations of EU sanctions against Russia, and 58 of them were suspected to be aggravated regulation offences.

Regulation offences were up 60% from the previous year. Before this, only some individual regulation offence cases were under investigation.

In 2023, licence holders governed by the Regional State Administrative Agencies' alcohol administration paid around €1.2 million in tax debt due to control issues, and around €610,000 due to licence issues.


  1. EmilySmith23 says

    It’s truly concerning to see the sharp increase in economic crimes reported in 2023. The statistics revealed by the Finnish tax office indicate a worrisome trend, reflecting the challenges faced in the current economic climate. The rise in tax and accounting offences, as well as other fraudulent activities, paints a bleak picture of financial integrity. It’s imperative for authorities to take decisive action to address this growing issue and protect the economic well-being of the society.

  2. AlexandraSmith67 says

    It’s truly disheartening to see the alarming rise in economic crimes, indicating a grim reality of financial deceit and dishonesty. The statistics reveal a troubling trend that requires urgent attention and stricter measures to ensure justice and deter such unlawful activities.

  3. EmilySmith_97 says

    It’s disheartening to see economic crimes on the rise to such a significant extent in 2023. The statistics provided in the article clearly highlight the distressing impact of the weakening economic situation. It’s crucial for authorities to take stringent measures to combat these crimes and ensure financial stability for businesses and individuals.

  4. EmilySmith says

    It is alarming to see the increase in economic crimes, especially in tax and accounting offenses. The economic situation seems to be directly impacting the rising number of crimes. Authorities need to take stricter measures to combat this trend.

  5. Emily2023 says

    How can we address the root causes of the increasing economic crimes? Are there any new strategies being implemented to combat this alarming trend?

    1. JohnJohnson45 says

      Emily2023, addressing the root causes of the rising economic crimes requires a multifaceted approach. Implementing stricter regulations, enhancing transparency in financial transactions, and investing in education to raise awareness about ethical business practices are some strategies being considered. It’s crucial for authorities to collaborate closely with businesses and the community to effectively combat this concerning trend.

  6. LauraSmith24 says

    Could you provide more details on the specific types of subsidy fraud and embezzlement cases that saw an increase in 2023?

    1. JohnDavis89 says

      Sure, LauraSmith24. In 2023, the types of subsidy fraud cases that saw an increase included fraudulent claims for government financial aid programs intended for businesses affected by the economic downturn. Embezzlement cases also surged, with instances of individuals misappropriating company funds and diverting them for personal gain becoming more prevalent during the year.

  7. Alexandra91 says

    It’s truly concerning to see economy crimes reaching such record levels in 2023. The statistics shared in the article highlight the severity of the situation, with a sharp increase in various types of economic offenses. It’s essential for the authorities to take decisive actions to address this growing issue and protect the integrity of the financial system.

  8. JennaSmith123 says

    Do you think the increase in economic crimes is mainly due to the weakening economic situation, or are there other factors at play?

    1. MaxTaylor456 says

      Hey JennaSmith123, it’s a complex issue with multiple contributing factors. While the weakening economic situation is undoubtedly a significant driver, other elements such as advancements in technology enabling new forms of financial fraud and inadequate regulatory measures also play a role in the surge of economic crimes. It requires a comprehensive approach to address and combat these growing challenges.

  9. EmilySmith23 says

    Do you think the increase in economic crimes is directly linked to the worsening economic situation, or are there other factors at play?

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