Court issues heavy prison sentences for Helsinki rappers

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In its decision, the Helsinki District Court declared that the two individuals were the leaders of an organized criminal group.

The case was heard in the Helsinki District Court. Image: Kristiina Lehto/Yle

The Helsinki District Court has handed down heavy prison sentences to suspected leaders of a street gang linked to violent incidents in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The court sentenced Milan Jaff, 22, known for his music videos and raps on social networks, to 10 years in prison. In its ruling, the court said Jaff is the leader of an organized crime group known as the Kurdish Mafia, which uses “47” as its code number and alternate name.

Charges against Jaff included assault, attempted murder, firearms offence, threatening a person to be heard in the administration of justice, aggravated robbery, aggravated deprivation of liberty , a drug-related offense and preparation for a serious crime against life or health.

Yahue Mahdi Mohamud, 26, was sentenced to nine years in prison because the court ruled he was a key individual in the Helsinki street gang. Mohamud is better known by his stage name Cavallini.

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Mohamud’s conviction was for attempted murder, firearms offence, aggravated robbery, aggravated deprivation of liberty, drug offense and preparation for a serious crime against life or health.

In total, there are 15 defendants and 19 indictments in the case. Other men in their twenties, mostly associated with the Helsinki gang, received shorter prison terms on charges including preparation for a crime against life or health and other illegal threats.

Gang violence

The court held the gang responsible for a shooting that occurred in Espoo on September 5, 2021. Leaders of the Kurdish mafia gang had attempted to kill the leaders of a rival gang in Espoo. No one was killed in the shooting, as the bullets did not penetrate the windows of the targeted house, but ten shots were fired.

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The court’s evidence that the Kurdish mafia were behind the shooting was a taped conversation between Jaff and Mohamud in which they discussed being caught up in the “Espoo case”.

The gang also planned an attack on the Kaivohuone nightclub in Helsinki. The members gathered weapons and prepared to attack, but once the police discovered their plot, the gang abandoned the plan.

Additionally, Jaff and an Espoo gang rapper are being investigated for a Vantaa shooting in late August, which police believe were two attempted murders.

Organized criminal group

In its decision, the Helsinki District Court ruled that the gang was an organized criminal group.

Among the grounds cited in the conviction is that the criminal activity was motivated by the members’ desire to protect the “integrity” and “honor” of the group through serious violence and the threat thereof.

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The prosecution demanded harsher sentences for the defendants, due to the organized nature of the group. According to the prosecutor, the fact that the group has a name, a meeting place, leaders and symbols, among other things, indicates that it is organized.

Syyttäjän mukaan helsinkiläisjengiläisten tatuoinnit ovat yksi ryhmän järjestäytyneisyydestä kertova asia. Image: Poliisi

Some of the people associated with the gang have tattoos such as an AK-47 assault rifle or the number 47. The group planned crimes together and later met.

According to the accused, the group is not an organized criminal group, but a group of friends who are mainly involved in music. The defendants deny belonging to a gang.

According to police interviewed by Yle last week, the situation between the gangs involved in the case – the Helsinki-based Kurdish mafia and their rival gang Espoo – has calmed down since the arrest of the key figures.

Yle released the name of Milan Jaff and Yahue Mahdi Mohamud because they reduced their privacy by being public figures with large social media presences.

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