Federal Office of Police Cracks Down On Money Laundering

Federal Office of Police Cracks Down On Money Laundering

Wed, May 8th 2024

A major international operation led by the Federal Office of Police has dismantled an extensive money laundering network linked to the ‘Ndrangheta.

KEYSTONE/Gaetan Bally

The Federal Office of Police, together with the authorities of two neighbouring countries, broke up an international money laundering ring in June 2023. Ten suspects were arrested, two of them in Switzerland. The suspected money launderers worked for the Italian ‘Ndrangheta.

The Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) published the case in its annual report and made it public on the short message service X on Wednesday.

Fedpol did not inform the public about the arrests and the large-scale operation back in the summer. This is another reason why Gnägi is unable to provide any further details about the two neighbouring countries involved.

The investigation reportedly began rather inconspicuously in 2019 with a police inquiry to Fedpol about a vehicle registered in Zurich. The two neighbouring countries made the same inquiry at the same time. The vehicle owner had met with others to allegedly hand over millions of euros in cash.

Years of joint investigations across Europe confirmed the suspicion of a network that specialized in smuggling cash, precious metals and luxury goods and carried out extensive money laundering for the Italian mafia organisation ‘Ndranghetta.

In June 2023, investigators in the three countries struck with over 150 officers. In Switzerland, they carried out house searches in several cantons. The ten people arrested are believed to have played key roles in the internationally active network.

According to the findings, the suspects mainly collected money from international drug trafficking and bought precious metals or luxury goods. They smuggled these across the borders in specially prepared vehicles and then flew them out of more distant countries.


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