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Government targets mafia and economic crimes

Switzerland says it will focus its crime-fighting energies on combating economic crimes and the Italian and southeast European mafia in the coming years.

Both areas are seen as growing threats, according to the government’s 2011-2015 crime-fighting strategy released on Wednesday.

Mafia organisations from southern and southeastern Europe are “very active” in Switzerland, it says. The Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta are the biggest concern, especially as they and other mafia-type groups are now moving their operations elsewhere after a crackdown by the Italian government.

Switzerland is dealing with mafia-related money laundering crimes for example, and suspected members of Italy’s four biggest criminal organisations have chosen to settle in Switzerland. Other organised crime networks from southeastern Europe are a growing danger, according to Europol. Drug trafficking is their main business and in Switzerland they are also involved in theft.

The main economic crimes involve international corruption and money laundering and the government has set a goal of “preventing the negative effects of corruption from tarnishing the Swiss financial centre”.

International terrorism still remains the number one threat when it comes to ideological crimes. Although there are no actual indications of an attack on Swiss soil, militant religious extremists remain a real danger, the government says.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR