Police detain two people over Kosovo arms smuggling deal

Swiss police have arrested two people in connection with an operation to smuggle anti-tank weapons to Albania to aid the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

This content was published on August 29, 2000 minutes

The Federal Prosecutor's Office said on Tuesday that the two - a Frenchman and a Kosovo Albanian - were detained more than a month ago.

"Two people who were arrested on July 13, 2000, remain in investigative custody due to the danger they might collude or try to flee," it said in a statement.

According to the prosecutor's office, Kosovo Albanians resident in Switzerland last year commissioned a French businessman to buy weapons for the ethnic Albanian KLA, which was fighting Serbian rule in the Yugoslav province.

It added that the weapons and ammunition were worth SFr4.5 million ($2.63 million).

A spokesman said, according to the export papers, the weapons were due to be sent to Africa, but instead ended up in Albania.

"The receiver of the goods was given as an African state," he said. "The weapons were sent to Africa in July 1999, but were then taken to Albania."

The Prosecutor's Office has now handed the case over to the Geneva cantonal authorities, which assisted in the investigation.

swissinfo with agencies

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