Swiss border guards have intercepted a car carrying nine firearms near the French-Swiss border.
The occupants of the vehicle, which was registered in France, were a French couple living in Geneva. They were stopped in Biel-Benken in canton Basel Country on January 6. Border officials found two revolvers, two pistols and five rifles in the car, according to information released by the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) on Tuesday.
In addition to the nine firearms, the border guards also retrieved a rifle scope and 145 rounds of ammunition. The 50-year-old man and his 37-year-old wife did not have any permits to transport the weapons. They were handed over to the Basel Country cantonal police along with the firearms.
The number of illegal weapons seized by Swiss customs officials doubled in 2018, according to the FCA’s latest annual report. Customs officials seized 8,251 illegal weapons in 2018 (mainly knives, clubs and similar weapons), up from 4,263 the previous year. The FCA attributes this to the rise in online shopping but also to targeted search operations.