Gun trader convicted for 'illegal sales to Saudi royals'

The accused accumulated a private arsenal of dozens of weapons without having a permit. Keystone / Dominic Favre

A Swiss man has been sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term for the unlicensed trading of weapons, including illegal sales to members of the Saudi royal family.

This content was published on January 28, 2022

The Federal Criminal Court heard that the accused sold 476 pistols, revolvers, hunting and assault rifles plus accessories worth around CHF670,000 ($722,000) to Saudi royals between 2014 and 2018.

The 56-year-old worked at a Geneva gun shop, but also operated an illegal operation on the side after buying back weapons from customers of the business.

He was caught drunk driving in 2018 and police discovered a loaded revolver in his vehicle. Further searches uncovered a private arsenal of 77 firearms, all without a permit.

The man was also fined CHF3,000 on Friday for multiple breaches of the Weapons Act, which included selling firearms abroad without an export license.

The trial in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona heard that his criminal liability was limited due to a diagnosis of personality and behavioural disorders linked to alcohol abuse.

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