A Finnish-Syrian man feted by the global media for smuggling toys into Syria has rejected fraud allegations. On Friday, Finnish police said they had launched a preliminary investigation into his use of donated money.
Finnish media have published claims he withheld money, had links with jihadists, and faked an injury. He told the BBC he has receipts for all spending and is open with the Finnish government about his contacts, but “may have exaggerated” the injury.
Rami Adham, father of six, became known to international media as the “Aleppo toy smuggler” earlier this year. As the BBC previously reported, Mr Adham has been taking Barbie dolls, footballs and teddy bears into Syria, including his hometown of Aleppo. He also runs a charity in Finland which provides aid in Syria through local partners.
But Finnish police are looking into concerns he may have been misusing donations. Finnish National Bureau of Investigation chief crime inspector Tero Haapala told the AFP news agency: “A preliminary investigation is underway and we will determine as soon as possible if there are grounds for suspecting a crime.”(BBC,2016)