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Finn hit with record speeding fine


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HELSINKI, Finland (Reuters) -- One of Finland's richest men has been fined a record 170,000 euros ($217,000) for speeding through the center of the capital, police said on Tuesday.

Jussi Salonoja, 27, heir to his family's sausage business, was caught driving 80 km per hour (50 miles per hour) in a 40 kph (25 mph) zone last Thursday, the police said.

Finnish traffic fines vary according to the offender's income and, according to tax office data, Salonoja's 2002 earnings were close to seven million euros.

The final penalty could still change when the case is eventually heard by a Helsinki court, as was the case with Nokia executive Anssi Vanjoki, whose 116,000-euro speeding fine was slashed by 95 percent in 2002 due to a drop in income.

If Salonoja's penalty stands, it will beat a speeding fine of more than 80,000 euros paid by Internet millionaire Jaakko Rytsola in 2000, and the 35,000-euro fine imposed on Nokia President Pekka Ala-Pietila in 2001 for running a red light.



Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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