Swiss see growing threat via Internet crime, mafia

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:34 am IST

Published - June 23, 2011 06:15 pm IST - GENEVA

Internet crime, mafia groups in border areas, and human trafficking from Eastern Europe are growing threats to Switzerland, police reported on Thursday.

The Federal Office of Police said in a report that criminals are also increasingly turning to the Internet -sharing encrypted data that is difficult to crack - as a tool to plan crimes irrespective of national borders.

Mafia groups remain “very active” in Switzerland, police said, especially near the borders with Italy, France and Germany. Pressure by Italian authorities is causing some of those groups to move their operations, such as money laundering, across the border to Switzerland.

The report said Italian mafia are trying to strengthen their hold in Switzerland, through partnerships with financial and banking experts.

“Their offenses are committed with the utmost discretion and are, therefore, less visible to the general public than other forms of organized crime, such as drug trafficking on the streets or large—scale burglaries,” the report said.

Swiss police said they had made several arrests last year in connection with organized crime cases, or at the request of other countries. Some of those arrested were extradited to Italy where they received prison terms.

“Human trafficking from Eastern Europe continued to expand during the year” the report added, stating that protection for victims and witnesses is essential to help combat crime.

Police also reported the seizure of thousands of kilos of cocaine and several hundred thousands francs linked to drug trafficking.

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