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lawbreakers About 250 Swiss citizens land in foreign jails per year

people in handcuffs

On average five Swiss citizens are detained abroad each week. 


About 250 Swiss citizens are thrown in jail abroad every year, according to foreign ministry figures. 

Currently, there are 204 nationals of Switzerland doing time in a foreign prison. Of these, 22 are in France, 20 in Germany, 17 in Spain, 12 in Thailand.  Another ten each are behind bars in Italy and the United States.

Swiss newspapers, including Le Matin Dimancheexternal link and SonntagsZeitungexternal link, cited these figures in their Sunday editions. 

Less than one-third were arrested for drug offences. Some have been convicted of armed robbery or burglary, others for offences related to their visas. 

In general, Swiss citizens on the move are increasingly seeking consular assistance. 

According to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFAexternal link), such requests have increased by 80% in the past ten years. 

The rise reflects the increasing number of Swiss nationals travelling or living abroad.


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