Christmas has once again been saved, after Lapland police this morning uncovered a massive fraud operation based in a Rovaniemi reindeer stable. The counterfeit ring, now apprehended, is believed to have been plotting a scheme to defraud millions of children by creating fake letters to Santa.
Police were alerted to the scene of the crime after it emerged a massive power line attached to the shed had been sapping the Lapland town’s power, bringing toy production to a standstill. When they investigated, they found a team using graphics tablets to forge children’s letters to Santa.
Lapland Area Police Department (LAPD) spokesperson Elen Magrit Årén described how the criminal organisation was highly organised, and the scheme was probably perpetrated by ex-employees of Santa Claus himself.
“We’ve seen this kind of thing before,” he said. “You know, Santa’s elves get laid off, go bad and fall into crime. It’s usually something fairly innocuous like selling pirate DVD boxsets and knock-off sherry out of the back of a sleigh, but this criminal operation has been meticulously planned and executed, using high-powered technology and skilled counterfeiting.”
Police said the crime ring had been intercepting letters to Santa at Lapland’s main post office, then using Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablets to quickly amend the letters in Adobe Illustrator. Shocked chief forensic calligraphy officer Mattias Hansdatter explained: “The elves would change the return addresses of each letter to a huge distribution centre in Finland, where they could bag the toys from Santa themselves. In all my years as chief forensic calligraphy officer, I’ve never seen anything so sickening.”
A ringleader, identified by police as Johán Grintz, 45, of no fixed abode, is believed to still be at large and extremely devious. Police files show how Grintz has attempted to steal Christmas before.
Get inside the crime! Check out our guide to the £199 Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablets the gang used.