Switzerland uncovers mafia active in country since 1994

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Switzerland said Friday that it had uncovered a mafia organisation that has been active in the country since 1994 and which was involved in drug and arms trafficking as well as money laundering.

"The Attorney-General's Office believes that it has collected sufficient elements to prove the existence of an autonomous criminal organisation active in Switzerland since 1994 at least," it said.

"This organisation operates on the Zurich-Ticino-Italy axis, essentially in the areas of international drug trafficking, international arms trafficking with Italy as the destination and money laundering," it added.

The attorney-general was therefore charging 13 people for their involvement in the group, which had close links with the traditional southern Italian Calabria mafia, the 'Ndrangheta.

Among illegal activities carried by the group were the trafficking of drugs including over 14 kilogrammes (30 pounds) of cocaine, trafficking of 285 firearms and the laundering of over 15 million francs.

The group was in particular accused of embezzling funds from the Zurich-based companies World Financial Services AG and PP Finanz Service GmbH.

© 2011 AFP

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