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Major drug trafficking network busted in Zurich

The cantonal police seized 115 kilograms of cocaine and CHF850,000 ($953,500) in cash. © Keystone / Christian Merz

An international operation led by the Swiss authorities has led to the arrest of 200 suspects involved in a major Nigerian drug trafficking network.

In a statementExternal link published on Thursday, the Zurich cantonal police said it had managed to “strike a major blow against drug trafficking”. The police dismantled the network and seized 115 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilos of marijuana and CHF850,000 ($953,500) in cash.

The five-year Operation Wave involved six countries, Europol, the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), Interpol and nine Swiss cantons. The target was a Nigerian organised crime group.

Over a period of several years, the group transported cocaine hidden in suitcases or on the bodies of so-called “couriers” (also known as bodypacking) from different locations to Switzerland. The drugs were redirected to various places in the country and prepared for sale. The profits were then smuggled out of the country.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR