British Santa Safari tour worker killed in Lapland

Arrest scene Image copyright Finnish Police
Image caption Lapland Police Department released a photo of the spot where the man was detained

A British woman working for a Santa Safari tour company has been stabbed to death in Lapland.

The 26-year-old, understood to be from Scotland, was found dead in the village of Kuttanen in Finland on Saturday.

Lapland Police said her 36-year-old Czech boyfriend fled on a dog sled and a manhunt was launched involving snow scooters and a helicopter.

The man was found a few hours later in the wilderness, in temperatures of -30C, and taken to hospital.

After treatment he was taken into police custody on suspicion of killing the woman.

'Deeply saddened'

The couple were seasonal workers in the area which is very close to the border with Sweden.

The woman, who has not been named, was employed by Santa Safari, which works with Oxford-based tour operator Transun Travel to organise Christmas-themed excursions in Lapland.

A spokesperson for Santa Safari said: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of the Santa Safari team was discovered dead on the 3rd December.

"We are all in shock from this tragic news and our thoughts go out to her family.

"Our team is working closely with the Finnish Police and relevant authorities to support the investigation that is now under way.

"It goes without saying that we will do everything we can to support the family and our staff at this incredibly difficult time."

Tour disruption

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police Scotland have been contacted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the death of a British national in Finland and will continue to assist them as required."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are supporting the family of a British national who died in Finland on 3 December."

Travel operator Transun posted a message on its Facebook page saying that some of its tours could be disrupted as a result of the Finnish police investigation.

It said: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of staff working for our overseas supplier Santa Safari was discovered dead on the 3rd December.

"The thoughts of everyone at Transun go out to the family, friends and the Santa Safari team. We will do everything we can to support them at this difficult time."

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