Nokia man can't pay his R1,18m speeding fine

Published Jan 14, 2002


Helsinki - A senior executive of the world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia is appealing against a record €116 000 ($103 600 or about R1,18-million) fine for speeding because his income has dropped, Finnish media and officials said on Monday.

Millionaire and Harley Davidson enthusiast Anssi Vanjoki was caught racing his motorbike down a Helsinki street in October at 75km/h in a 50 kph zone, the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reported.

Unlike in many other countries, Finnish traffic fines vary according to the offender's average income.

The fine was based on Vanjoki's 1999 income which was boosted by big options sales. But Vanjoki's income dropped drastically last year as Nokia's share price fell alongside other tech shares, making option sales uneconomical.

Vanjoki's fine is believed to be the largest ever traffic penalty in Finland, beating a fine of more than 80 000 euros handed down to Internet millionaire Jaakko Rytsola and one of €35 000 given to Vanjoki's colleague, Nokia president Pekka Ala-Pietila.

A Helsinki district court official confirmed to Reuters that Vanjoki's appeal would be heard on May 15. - Reuters

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