Millionaire Swede pays dear for speed

A millionaire from Småland in southern Sweden has been forced to pay a 195,000 kronor ($28,000) fine after he was caught speeding on the Baltic island of Åland.

Hans Ahl, 62, was hit with the full force of Finnish law after driving his Chevrolet minivan at a speed of 67 kilometres/hour (42 mph) in a 30 km/h zone (19mph). Though the population of Åland is Swedish speaking, the main island and its many skerries are in fact an administrative province of Finland.

Unlike in Sweden, where there is a 4,000 kronor maximum charge, Finland does not place an upper limit on traffic fines. Instead the cost of a speeding ticket is calculated on the basis of the offender’s income.

“I can laugh about it now that a few days have passed. And I can pay it alright but it’s a lot of money,” Ahl told Expressen.

The 62-year-old has said that he intends appealing the decision, partly because he didn’t know that there was a 30 km/h speed limit.

“You would have a hard job finding the 30 sign. I thought I was out in the countryside in the middle of the woods,” said Ahl.