Mafia makes inroads in Switzerland
The Italian Mafia is becoming more and more active in Switzerland, according to an annual police report published Thursday. The country is mainly being used for money-laundering operations, the report says.
The Swiss police, or Fedpol, says the Mafia's activities in Switzerland are much less visible for the general public than other forms of organized crime, as they rarely include drug-dealing on the streets or serial burglary.
But since Italian authorities stepped up pressure on the Mafia at home, their activities are increasing in neighbouring countries.
Between spring 2008 and autumn 2010, Italian police arrested more than 6,500 suspected Mafiosi and seized fortunes believed to be worth up to €15 billion (18 billion francs).
The police report says that particularly the Mafia organization 'Ndrangheta, from the Calabria region of Italy, has made inroads in Switzerland.
While Italian clans do not control a particularly territory in the country, as they do at home, police believe they do make agreements with one another over certain regions. In addition, the Mafia has reportedly begun to hire Swiss bankers and financial advisers.
The Swiss police has also claimed some successes in the past year. Several Mafiosi have been arrested and extradited to Italy, while others have been prosecuted in Switzerland.