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Tasers and ninja weapons seized by Swiss customs

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Tasers and ninja weapons seized by Swiss customs
File photo: Marcelo Freido
13:16 CEST+02:00
The number of illegal weapons confiscated by Swiss customs officers has doubled in the past five years.

Butterfly knives, ninja stars, defence sprays, tasers and knuckledusters were among the 2,243 illegal weapons seized at borders in 2015, up from 1,308 in 2011, federal customs office spokesman David Marquis told newspaper 20 Minutes.

Last year's figure is slightly down on 2014, however, when 2,730 weapons were confiscated, according to a report by the Swiss customs office.

However illegal firearms remain rare, Marquis said, with only 76 seized in 2015.  

Men aged between 15-30 were the culprits in half the cases. While only ten percent involved women, that number has doubled since 2009, with many favouring sprays and tasers, the paper added.

Marquis said that ignorance of the rules may be the cause of the increase.

That may be understandable, given Swiss law on the subject is rather nuanced.

While some defence sprays are considered weapons, pepper spray is not. Neither are samurai swords.

According to its 2015 report, Swiss customs also seized 2,193 false documents, 1,391 counterfeit watches, 121 kilos of cocaine – twice that in 2014 – and 69 illegally imported animals during the year.

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