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CRIME

Hundreds of Chihuahua pups smuggled into Switzerland

Swiss police have uncovered an Eastern European smuggling ring found to have brought hundreds of Chihuahua puppies into the country illegally.

Hundreds of Chihuahua pups smuggled into Switzerland
This particular Chihuahua has nothing to do with the smuggling ring (Photo: Anthony Kelly).

The Schaffhausen cantonal police found that illicit traders had smuggled some 230 puppies into Switzerland, 130 of which were brought in by one Hungarian woman, newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports.

This is the biggest case of illegal dog trading that the Swiss customs have ever had to deal with.

The majority of the smuggled puppies were Chihuahuas, and were taken into Switzerland via St. Gallen. Despite the fact that the dogs had not been to the vets and were not vaccinated, the Hungarian trader nevertheless managed to sell the puppies for a total of around 100,000 francs ($102,311).

The Chihuahua’s popularity has risen dramatically in recent years after the dogs were catapulted into the limelight by people like Paris Hilton, who famously carries one around in a purse.

“The puppies from Eastern Europe often grow up in miserable conditions and are taken away from their mothers much too early,” Denise Delley of the Swiss animal registration service (ANIS) told the 20 Minuten news site.

Often these animals have diseases or develop other illnesses, resulting in high veterinary costs, she added.

The Hungarian woman’s middleman is now also being investigated. He sold the animals on for approximately 850 francs ($ 868) apiece without a permit. A fully certified purebred Chihuahua can cost in the region of 2,500 francs ($ 2,554).

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CRIME

Swiss woman indicted over ‘jihadist knife attack’ in department store

Swiss prosecutors said Wednesday they had indicted a woman for attempted murder on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group over a brutal knife attack in November 2020.

Swiss woman indicted over 'jihadist knife attack' in department store

The 29-year-old unnamed woman allegedly attacked two women in a department store in the southern city of Lugano.

She has been charged with attempted murder and violating laws against association with Al-Qaeda, IS and related groups, according to the indictment.

She was also charged with unlawful prostitution.

EXPLAINED: Does Switzerland face a threat from terrorism?

The attorney general’s office said the indictment related to a “jihadist knife attack” and the alleged assailant, a Swiss citizen, “intended to kill her victims and to commit a terrorist act on behalf of IS.”

“The suspect acted wilfully and with particular ruthlessness. She brutally attacked her randomly-selected victims with a knife, with the aim of killing them and thereby spreading terror throughout the population on behalf of the ‘Islamic State’,” it said.

One of the two victims sustained serious neck injuries while the second victim, with help from others at the scene, managed to overpower her attacker and hold her until police arrived.

The attacker was arrested and detained. Police quickly discovered she had been linked to a 2017 jihadism investigation.

The woman had formed a relationship on social media with a jihadist fighter in Syria and attempted to travel to the war-torn country to meet him, police alleged at the time.

She was stopped by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border and sent back to Switzerland, they said, adding that the woman had suffered from mental health problems and been admitted to a psychiatric clinic.

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