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cross-border challenges Flixbus puts cameras on coaches to fight drug smuggling

people putting luggage in side of long distance coach

Flixbus has put surveillance cameras in some luggage compartments, which it hopes will also have a deterrent effect.

(Keystone)

German bus company Flixbus, which also runs services to several Swiss cities, has installed security cameras on some of its vehicles after reports of drug trafficking on its coach routes, company spokesman Martin Mangiapia told swissinfo.ch.

Several incidents of drug trafficking on Flixbus coaches have been reported, notably by Wirtschaftswoche.external link The problem is well known not only to the police and customs authorities but also to Flixbus itself. 

In a statement to swissinfo.ch, the company said that whilst drug trafficking occurrences were rare, various measures were nevertheless being “discussed internally” and that video surveillance cameras were already installed in the luggage compartments of some of its buses.

“Like all other cross-border modes of transport, we are struggling with these challenges,” Mangiapia told swissinfo.ch. “Delays caused by (border) checks are among the biggest challenges here.” 

He said the company would also appreciate a more concerted police effort to help combat the problem. “We would very much welcome an increased presence of authorities not only at the borders but at the bus stops themselves - similar to the police presence at train stations and airports,” said Mangiapia. 

Zurich city police told swissinfo that installing surveillance cameras and ensuring security measures on board its buses was Flixbus’s own responsibility. According to a police spokesperson, Swiss coach stations, such as the one next to Zurich main station, are not major drug trafficking hotspots. The police may carry out routine identity checks during their regular patrols in the area, but do not see the need for increased security measures.

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