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Zurich vice squad cops 'accepted sex for tip-offs'

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Zurich vice squad cops 'accepted sex for tip-offs'
Hotel Chilli's: the nightclub where a raid sparked charges against police. Photo: Facebook
20:38 CET+01:00
Five members of Zurich police department’s vice squad allegedly passed on confidential information to people involved with prostitution in exchange for sexual services, food and and drink, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

The office revealed more details about the arrests of officers this week that rocked the city police department, involving almost a third of the vice squad, including the department’s second in command.

The justice department is seeking the detention of three of the policemen, while two others are at liberty, although they remain under investigation, the SDA news agency reported.

A further nine people were arrested following a raid at Chilli’s hotel and nightclub, described by local media as a sex club, in Zurich’s red light district.

The officers are suspected of “passive corruption”, interference with criminal investigations and abuse of authority, SDA reported.

They are accused of sharing confidential details from the police department’s electronic information system to people in the prostitution business, the prosecutor’s office said.

The policemen warned players in the local sex trade in advance of checks that the police force planned and abstained from reporting on such people, according to the allegations.

In return, they allegedly received sexual favours, plus free food and drink from several establishments.

All the suspects either contest the allegations or refuse to comment, the prosecutor’s office said, according to SDA.

The office has sought the detention of at least seven other individuals.

The charges against the non-police officers include credit card fraud, involving charges made to clients of prostitutes for services that were never delivered.

Richard Wolff, the city councillor in charge of the police department, earlier said he was shocked when he first learned of the allegations.

If the charges prove to be founded, the officers should expect to be fired but the presumption of innocence prevails until proven otherwise, he indicated.

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