One of the richest people in Finland was recently handed over a staggering €121,000 (about $130,000) speeding fine for driving 30km/h (18.6mph) over the limit. According to a report by Finnish newspaper Nya Aland, 76-year-old businessman Anders Wiklöf was caught by the cops traveling at 51mph in a 31mph zone in the Åland Islands, a Swedish-speaking autonomous archipelago in the Baltic Sea that is part of Finland. Wiklöf, the chairman and founder of Wiklöf Holding, told the newspaper that the speed limit changed “suddenly” from a 44mph (70km/h) limit down to 31mph when he was stopped. “I had just started slowing down, but I guess that didn’t happen fast enough,” he said. “It’s how it goes.”
If you’re shocked by the eye-watering fine Wiklöf had to pay for driving just over 20mph over the limit, that’s how the laws are in Finland. Most of the countries in the Nordic region follow a system in which the fines for traffic infringements are decided on the severity of the offense and the offender’s income. The cops can instantly check the annual income of the offender by connecting to a central taxpayer database through their smartphones and issue a fine accordingly. Wiklöf being the wealthiest person on the Åland Islands was handed over a $130,000 fine. Back in 2002, a top Nokia executive in Finland was fined $103,000 for riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle at 46mph in a 31mph zone. However, the record for the biggest speeding fine ever issued goes to a motorist in Switzerland who was fined $1.3 million for driving at 180mph.
The millionaire businessman said he hopes the money is spent usually by the authorities. “I really regret the matter and hope that the money is in any case used for healthcare through the treasury,” Wiklöf commented. “I have heard the government wants to save €1.5bn on healthcare in Finland, so I hope that my money can fill a gap there.” Interestingly, this is not the first time 76-year-old has been handed over a hefty fine for driving over the speed limit. Wiklöf, who currently drives a Bentley Mulsanne, was previously fined €63,680 (about $68,000) in 2018 and handed over a whopping €95,000 (roughly $101,000) ticket for the same offense five years prior to that. This time around, the authorities suspended Wiklöf’s driving license for ten days.
Anders Wiklöf went from getting rejected by a bank to buying the same bank
Anders Wiklöf founded his company, Wiklöf Holding, in 1987 after being rejected for a loan of €1,700 by the Bank of Åland. The businessman claims that his decision to start his company was spurred by revenge. Interestingly, Wiklöf currently is the largest shareholder in the bank and also sits on its board. While the Finnish millionaire started his journey by owning a car dealership, Wiklöf Holding has turned into a massive enterprise with an annual revenue of over €350 million (about $375 million). Over the last four decades, the holding company has grown to encompass more than 20 businesses, including real estate, supermarkets, logistics, helicopter service, and hospitality. In addition to his love for exotic cars, Wiklöf is also a prominent art collector. Wiklöf is also known for his philanthropic work and he played an instrumental role in setting up the Anders Wiklöf Institute for Heart Research and The Baltic Sea Fund.