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BREAKING NEWS

Finnish MP suspected of claiming sauna as his second home

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's police are investigating whether a Finnish lawmaker cheated parliament out of 13,000 euros (£11,733) after claiming allowances for a second home that turned out to be a Helsinki sauna.

The member of parliament, Ville Vahamaki of the nationalist Finns Party, denied any wrongdoing in a statement.

Finnish tabloid Iltalehti reported in July he and another member of parliament had been claiming elevated housing allowances for a sauna facility which they had rented from a chief police officer in the basement of an apartment building.

"In practice, I use it for laundry and so forth," Vahamaki told the newspaper at the time.

Vahamaki is suspected of having defrauded parliament of around 13,000 euros in the form of unjustified allowances, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement, adding he had already paid the money back.

The prosecutor will now consider the charges. Police found no grounds to suspect the other member of parliament of a similar fraud.

Finland has a population of just 5.5 million people but is home to around 3 million saunas.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Alison Williams)

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