The taxi driver raised the alert after his passenger ran away without paying on arrival in Zurich on Wednesday night, Zurich city and cantonal police said in a joint statement.
According to the driver the fare-dodger had been acting suspiciously during the journey, before fleeing on arrival.
A manhunt was initiated and continued throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday, during the course of which several people were stopped for questioning and armed police were stationed at various points around the city and the airport, news agency ATS said.
“The initially unclear situation prompted the police to trigger a major search in the course of the night,” police said.
The fare-dodger was finally arrested by transport police at Zurich train station at around 3.30pm on Thursday.
Police are now investigating the reasons for the man's strange behaviour.