Police in Finland investigating JW fundraising

by Festus 4 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Festus

    Police in Finland has been investigating fundraising of Jehovah's Witnesses "for years" according to state prosecutor Mika Appelsin. Before year 2016 society's bank account appeared on JW's magazines and homepage. It is legal to collect money in religious events - it is view as an offertory by law even when using contribution boxes. However collecting money by other means requires a license. Surprisingly JWs did not have one. According to Mr Appelsin the case is "not so simple" and "we are talking about millions (euros)". There is no mentioning what it comes to distributing bank account number via Whatsapp or by other means which have been rumoured to have taken place during pandemic.

    It is still not clear if JWs will be prosecuted. If they will it will concern around ten individuals at the top of Finnish branch.

    Here are the links to newspapers. Google translate works quite ok.



  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Considering it involves a basically meaningless technicality, if they ever did try to collect it would almost surely be appealed and forgiven.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Money laundering

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    @blue dog: when it’s about taxes and governments, there is no such thing as a technicality.

    The fact the WTBTS removed the bank accounts from their website and magazines shows they knew something was fishy, otherwise they’d still be doing it.

    This seems to have been something similar to what most other countries require (you basically have to register your non-profit and file your receipts, IRS requires this as well). It seems that local congregations were fine, but they published a bank account for some centralized WTBTS entity (may even have been the US entity) that didn’t have the necessary paperwork or didn’t qualify for the non-profit status (what I could find on the case is pretty murky and Fins don’t necessarily have the same legal concept for churches and non-profits)

    If I understand the Finish laws well enough is that the other problem for WTBTS is that they require the WTBTS to tell both the government (and upon request the donor) WHERE the money is going (basically is my money going to fund ISIS or feed the poor). They didn’t want to follow for fear it may have required them to show too much information?

  • Corney

    A state prosecutor of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Finland decides no charges will be filed against ten branch executives and managers suspected of violating fundraising rules. The case is discontinued due to lack of evidence and statute of limitations; acording to the decision, it was the international organization, not the Finnish association, that was responsible for the fundraising activities in question (namely, publishing certain Watchtower study issues and the official website).


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