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Syria’s ‘toy smuggler’ jailed for donation fraud

Rami Adham, dubbed the 'Toy Smuggler' for distributing toys to orphans in Syria , has been charged with money laundering and fraud [MTV Uutiset/Twitter]
Rami Adham, dubbed the 'Toy Smuggler' for distributing toys to orphans in Syria , has been charged with money laundering and fraud [MTV Uutiset/Twitter]

A Finnish-Syrian man who hit the headlines after he distributed toys to orphans in Syria has been found guilty of money laundering and fraud.

A Helsinki court convicted Rami Adham, dubbed the “Toy Smuggler” yesterday, sentencing him to ten months in prison for misdirecting charitable funds and collecting 300,000 ($342,000) in donations without the correct permits.

The court found that not all the funds raised were used to help people in Syria as was claimed. Some 62,000 ($) was spent on a cabin and an allotment.

The judge declared that Adham’s three previous convictions meant a prison sentence was necessary. Finnish media has reported his prior convictions include tax fraud, drug offences and assault.

Read: 28,000 Syrian children killed since 2011, reveals human rights report

The 46-year-old father of six had gained internet fame and media attention by making trips to Syria to bring toys and financial help to Syrian orphans.

Finnish police began an investigation in to his activities in 2016 after a number of people told them they thought he was withholding donations.

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