Swiss police in Geneva

Crime in Switzerland is combated mainly by cantonal police. The Federal Office of Police investigates organised crime, money laundering and terrorism.

Crime statistics

In Switzerland, police registered a total of 432,000 offenses under the Criminal Code in 2019 (−0.2% compared with previous year), of which 110,140 or 25.5 percent were cases of thefts (excluding vehicles, −2.0%), and 41,944 or 9.7 percent were thefts of vehicles (including bicycles, −10.1%), 46 were killings and 161 were attempted murders. The number of cases of rape reported increased by 53 incidents or 8.5 percent over the previous year. The number of criminal pornography offenses increased by 56.1 percent to 2,837. Offenses against the Narcotics Act decreased by 0.7 percent to 75,757.[1]

In 2014, 110,124 adults were convicted, of which 55,240 (50%) were convicted according to traffic regulation offences, 6,540 (+1.6%) for trafficking in narcotic substances, and 17,882 (−7.2%) for offenses against the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals.[2] 83,014 or 83.4% of adult convicted people are male, and 42,289 or 42.5 percent of them Swiss citizens.[3] In the same year, 11,484 minors (78 percent of them male, 68 percent of them of Swiss nationality, 64.2 percent aged either 16 or 17) were convicted.[3]

Convictions for infliction of bodily harm have steadily increased throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with 23 convictions for serious injury and 831 for light injury in 1990 as opposed to 78 and 2,342, respectively, in 2005. Convictions for rape have also slightly increased, fluctuating between 500 and 600 cases per year in the period 1985 to 1995, but between 600 and 700 cases in the period 2000 to 2005. Consistent with these trends, convictions for threats or violence directed against officials has consistently risen in the same period, from 348 in 1990 to 891 in 2003.[4][5]

Types of convictions

The number of convicted persons is given in the following tables.[6] Each class of crime references the relevant section of the Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code, abbreviated as StGB in German), or Betäubungsmittelgesetz (abbr. BetmG, Narcotics Act), or the Strassenverkehrsgesetz (abbr. SVG, Swiss Traffic Regulations).

Year Total convicted
adults
(StGB only)
Homicide
(Art. 111,112,113,116 StGB)
Serious bodily injury
(Art. 122 StGB)
Minor bodily injury
(Art. 123 StGB)
Sexual contact with children
(Art. 187 StGB)
Rape
(Art. 190 StGB)
Theft
(Art. 139 StGB)
Robbery
(Art. 140 StGB)
Receiving stolen goods
(Art. 160 StGB)
Embezzlement
(Art. 138 StGB)
Fraud
(Art. 146 StGB)
Narcotics possession Major violation of traffic laws
(Art. 90 Abs. 1&2 SVG)
Impaired driving
(Art. 91 SVG)
2005 26,200 106 95 2,438 416 110 5,968 498 1,249 907 1,468 5,508 22,013 16,466
2006 26,428 116 108 2,553 389 134 5,892 574 1,184 863 1,512 5,419 21,725 20,900
2007 24,184 104 93 2,283 387 136 5,505 532 943 805 1,587 5,073 21,431 20,083
2008 26,025 102 134 2,622 408 133 5,732 537 914 840 1,641 5,349 25,184 20,376
2009 27,497 100 130 2,665 384 131 6,393 553 943 847 1,555 5,491 25,472 19,483
2010 28,603 96 152 2,690 331 134 6,669 611 911 783 1,746 6,104 25,960 20,421
2011 29,645 84 137 2,775 276 87 7,074 464 1,033 726 1,831 4,851 24,040 19,127
2012 34,270 117 188 2,902 298 110 9,026 534 1,347 756 1,994 5,795 23,248 18,662
2013 35,726 121 187 2,892 322 99 9,577 683 1,440 676 2,332 6,119 22,584 17,625
2014 34,335 123 235 2,768 318 109 8,557 584 1,154 694 2,253 6,384 24,838 17,327
2015 32,992 115 239 2,581 350 104 7,491 528 946 693 2,434 6,746 23,881 16,728
2016a 32,378 91 206 2,471 294 86 7,028 408 804 693 2,294 6,354 22,473 16,720
^a 2016 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.
^ Due to privacy protection laws some convictions are not included.
Year Total convicted
minors
(StGB only)
Homicide
(Art. 111,112,113,116 StGB)
Serious bodily injury
(Art. 122 StGB)
Minor bodily injury
(Art. 123 StGB)
Sexual contact with children
(Art. 187 StGB)
Rape
(Art. 190 StGB)
Theft
(Art. 139 StGB)
Robbery
(Art. 140 StGB)
Receiving stolen goods
(Art. 160 StGB)
Embezzlement
(Art. 138 StGB)
Fraud
(Art. 146 StGB)
Narcotics possession Major violation of traffic laws
(Art. 90 Abs. 1&2 SVG)
Impaired driving
(Art. 91 SVG)
2005 7,580 7 10 634 73 14 3,528 375 400 34 65 918 124 180
2006 7,768 7 22 644 118 19 3,417 330 390 35 51 1,019 125 188
2007 6,912 7 21 701 102 20 2,190 285 285 21 47 680 117 141
2008 6,976 4 24 688 80 17 1,999 334 272 17 57 560 101 125
2009 6,930 7 24 664 73 5 2,031 366 315 19 57 600 142 105
2010 7,614 13 36 770 71 17 2,411 413 242 19 51 566 120 141
2011 5,428 2 31 551 65 5 1,589 259 155 10 49 507 138 152
2012 5,073 2 34 476 69 8 1,624 305 165 25 56 555 74 124
2013 5,193 4 31 408 75 22 1,664 324 171 26 90 691 72 95
2014 4,912 3 33 393 66 9 1,388 240 162 25 70 832 91 126
2015 4,518 4 28 342 89 5 1,387 196 146 17 73 972 127 105
2016a 4,613 6 47 342 69 11 1,415 161 151 15 93 879 86 111
^a 2016 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.
^ Due to privacy protection laws some convictions are not included.

Historic conviction rates

The historic adult conviction rates are given in the following chart:[6]

Year Total Adult
Convictions
Criminal Convictions Narcotics Convictions Traffic Convictions
Total Male Swiss Total Male Swiss Total Male Swiss
1985 46,252 20,272 81.1% 66.8% 3,855 81.3% 69.9% 22,125 89.6% 74.5%
1990 52,030 19,810 80.2% 57.1% 4,176 81.8% 61.4% 28,044 88.5% 67.2%
1995 57,478 17,824 83.3% 55.0% 5,442 84.1% 53.7% 34,212 86.5% 63.3%
2000 68,654 20,614 85.2% 49.5% 6,798 70.7% 34.6% 41,242 85.0% 60.3%
2005 80,484 26,199 84.7% 49.7% 6,847 71.6% 33.3% 47,438 84.0% 55.5%
2006 85,477 26,583 84.8% 50.2% 6,792 70.1% 34.7% 52,102 83.7% 54.8%
2007 80,299 24,265 85.0% 51.3% 6,051 74.4% 35.3% 49,983 84.4% 53.9%
2008 88,147 26,327 84.5% 51.0% 6,240 77.2% 36.8% 55,580 83.5% 52.6%
2009 89,542 27,727 84.7% 48.5% 6,430 76.8% 34.8% 55,385 83.3% 52.4%
2010 93,187 28,691 84.0% 47.4% 7,006 78.7% 33.7% 57,490 83.0% 51.6%
2011 87,222 29,128 83.5% 44.9% 5,401 78.2% 32.6% 52,693 83.3% 50.6%
2012 95,702 33,925 83.8% 41.5% 6,562 80.0% 30.6% 55,215 82.0% 50.3%
2013 97,706 35,325 83.3% 40.3% 7,141 77.5% 28.9% 55,240 81.6% 48.8%
2014a 98,582 32,911 82.6% 41.3% 7,392 76.2% 30.4% 58,279 80.4% 48.1%
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.

Age at conviction

The age of the individuals at the time of their convictions is given in this chart:[6]

Year 18–19 20–24 25–29 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–59 60–69 70+
1985 7.9% 26.8% 18.6% 13.6% 10.4% 7.7% 5.4% 6.4% 2.5% 0.7%
1990 6.6% 26.4% 20.7% 14.5% 9.9% 7.5% 5.4% 6.1% 2.2% 0.7%
1995 5.4% 21.4% 20.8% 15.5% 11.5% 8.6% 6.5% 7.1% 2.5% 0.8%
2000 6.5% 19.3% 17.1% 15.5% 12.5% 9.7% 7.2% 8.3% 3.1% 0.9%
2005 7.2% 20.7% 15.4% 13.5% 12.4% 10.5% 7.4% 8.8% 3.1% 1.0%
2006 7.4% 20.6% 15.0% 12.6% 12.0% 10.7% 7.9% 9.2% 3.6% 1.0%
2007 7.5% 20.5% 15.0% 12.2% 12.1% 10.6% 7.9% 9.6% 3.5% 1.2%
2008 6.9% 20.7% 15.3% 12.2% 11.5% 10.1% 8.2% 9.7% 3.9% 1.4%
2009 7.2% 21.0% 15.9% 12.4% 11.2% 10.1% 8.1% 9.0% 3.8% 1.4%
2010 7.1% 20.7% 16.1% 12.3% 11.1% 10.2% 8.0% 9.5% 3.7% 1.4%
2011 6.5% 20.8% 16.8% 12.7% 11.0% 9.5% 7.9% 9.2% 4.0% 1.4%
2012 6.2% 19.9% 17.0% 13.7% 10.7% 9.5% 7.8% 9.3% 4.2% 1.7%
2013 5.9% 18.8% 17.3% 13.9% 11.0% 9.6% 8.2% 9.8% 3.9% 1.6%
2014a 5.4% 17.7% 16.6% 14.2% 11.4% 9.6% 8.6% 10.4% 4.4% 1.8%
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.

Juvenile crimes

See also: Education in Switzerland

According to official statistics, there has been a total of 20,902 juvenile convictions in 2021 – 7.5 percent more than in 2020. According to a 2021 survey about juvenile crimes, 6.4 percent of respondents aged 14 and 15 admitted participating in a group fight. Shoplifting was the most common offence with 15 percent. Another 10.3 percent carried firearms, batons, large knives or other weapons. Acts of vandalism were committed by 9.4 percent. Five and a half percent trafficked or assisted in trafficking drugs. Burglary was admitted by 1.5 percent, 1.1 percent to vehicle theft. Five percent committed hate crimes; 2.9 percent sent unsolicited or unauthorised intimate pictures. Online fraud and hacking were each admitted by 2.7 percent. Assaults inflicting serious injuries were committed by 2.6 percent. Robbing others with a weapon, violence or serious threat was reported by 1.3 percent.[7]

Incarceration

In 2017, 6,863 people were incarcerated in Swiss prisons or pre-trial detention facilities, of which 49.3 percent were legal residents, 9.6 percent were asylum seekers and 41.1 percent were classified "other foreigners" (which includes cross-border workers, undocumented migrants, tourists, and foreigners with no fixed abode in Switzerland). Of the 6,863, 1,673 were undergoing rehabilitation; of these, 49 percent were foreigners with no fixed residence in Switzerland.[8]

Crime by type

See also: Economy of Switzerland

Suspected cases of embezzlement, tax fraud, money laundering and sexual harassment have been reported in 35 percent of companies in Switzerland.[9]

Money laundering

See also: Banking in Switzerland § Connection to illegal activities, and Know your customer

Swiss banks have served as safe havens for the wealth of dictators, despots, mobsters, arms dealers, corrupt officials, and tax cheats of all kinds.[10][11][12]

Money laundering is a criminal offence punishable by the criminal authorities (Art. 305bis of the Swiss Criminal Code).[13] According to the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland in 2017, official "suspicious activity reports" reached nearly 4,700 (worth $16.2 billion) up from 2,909 reported cases in 2016.[14]

The Money Laundering Reporting Office is a federal body responsible for receiving and analysing suspicious activity reports in connection with money laundering, terrorist financing, and money of criminal origin, and forwarding them to the law enforcement agencies if necessary.[15]

Under Swiss laws, a company can be held criminally liable for inadequate organisation or failing to take all reasonable measures to prevent a crime from happening.[16][17]

In 1989, the Swiss justice minister had to step down, following allegation of money laundering by her husband. This was the largest case of drug-related money laundering to become public.[18]

Loopholes

See also: Banking in Switzerland § Loopholes

Swiss banks have a legal obligation to record the ultimate beneficial owners of all assets they handle worldwide, but doing so accurately can be tricky in jurisdictions where it is easy for third parties to mask who the owners are.[19] Thus, loopholes exist through the use of shell companies, trust funds, and proxy directors signing the paperwork without owning the assets.[20]

Under current rules, banking institutions and cantonal authorities can only report what's in their registers – looking into the origins of assets or connections between individuals is not permitted (2022).[21] The authorities can access beneficial owner's data only when an investigation has been opened.[22]

SFAO (Swiss Federal Audit Office) points to loopholes in the commodities sector, particularly the purchase of materials for smelting, which is partially excluded from the monitoring of raw materials origins. Control is limited to verification of the trade in already refined gold bars.[15][23]

Sanctioned countries

See also: International sanctions during the Russian invasion of Ukraine § Switzerland

A provision in Swiss law allows its companies' overseas subsidiaries (e.g. in Dubai, Cyprus or Hong Kong) to trade commodities for sanctioned countries (like Russia for example) as long as they are "legally independent".[24] Besides, Swiss sanctions law does not apply to its nationals living abroad.[22] The Office of the Attorney General says it can only open an investigation into alleged violations of sanctions if asked to by the SECO. When it comes to sanctions, Switzerland doesn't have a dedicated agency and relies instead on multiple federal agencies, the cantons and the banks for reporting any violations.[22]

Criticism

See also: Suisse Secrets

Suspicious activities' real numbers are said to be much higher than those officially reported. Besides, the government rarely follows up on these reports because of lack of means, incentives and a clear legal framework.[25][26]

According to the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) the law, as it is currently written, has no dissuasive effect, since companies pay a maximum amount of CHF5 million ($5.2 million), if convicted.[15]

Supervisory body FINMA can warn banks of the risks they are taking following "suspicious activity reports", but the decision to accept a customer is ultimately up to the bank, with banks fearing to lose their customers to foreign or domestic competitors in some cases.[25]

In February 2022, the European People's Party of the European Parliament proposed reviewing Swiss banking practices and money laundering status in response to the Suisse Secrets leaks, asking the European Commission to reclassify Switzerland as a high-risk country for financial crime.[27]

According to SFAO, the real estate sector in Switzerland is still an attractive place to introduce funds of illegal origin into the legal financial circuit.[15]

According to the Basel Institute on Governance in 2022, Switzerland ranks 95th out of 129 countries when it comes to money laundering and corruption risks.[28][29]

In 2022, financier Bill Browder criticized Switzerland for being "the money-laundering capital of the world".[30]

Reforms

As of 2023, financial intermediaries are required to verify the identity of customers, record which services have been provided to them, and clarify their background and purpose. Swiss-based charities must appoint a representative in Switzerland and keep a list of their members for five years. The new rules also oblige banks to inform the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MLROS) of criminal funds, which they did not always disclose.[31]

Swiss NGO Public Eye has recommended the creation of a supervisory authority for the commodities sector to improve the tracking of the actual owners of trading firms and ensure that commodities don't originate in conflict zones or countries subject to international sanctions.[32] As of 2023, Swiss companies using blockchain technology for the tracing of commodities such as gold or diamonds (from mining to commercialization) are slowly emerging.[33]

In addition, FATF and Transparency International are demanding that lawyers, financial advisors plus real estate and art transactions be subject to the same exacting anti-money laundering measures as banks.[34][35]

Terrorism financing

See also: Terrorism in Switzerland

Regulation of money laundering in Switzerland includes the Federal Act on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Anti-Money Laundering Act, AMLA) which requires financial intermediaries such as investment banks or insurance companies to comply with due diligence and disclosure requirements.[13][36][37]

According to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's office and media, in the 1990s and early 2000s Al Qaeda members had accounts at Swiss banks, including UBS.[38][39]

Assets seizure

Swiss authorities can freeze assets if the law requires them to. However, seizing assets is only permitted in cases involving crime or for destituted potentates.[40][41]

According to Article 72 of the Swiss criminal code, "all assets that are subject to the power of disposal of a criminal or terrorist organisation" can be permanently confiscated. "In the case of assets belonging to a person who participates in or supports such an organisation (Art. 260), it is presumed that the assets are subject to the power of disposal of the organisation until the contrary is proven." According to experts, the forfeiture rule "does not violate the property guarantee".[42]

Drugs

See also: Health in Switzerland § Illegal drugs, and Legal status of cocaine

As of 2017 drug use was the most common reason why people aged 10–18 were reported by police (being filed, being fined, or reported to justice), however dealing has been diminished since 2010.[43]

According to Addiction Switzerland, "Illegal substances can be found in cities quickly and relatively easily".[44]

Cannabis use among adolescents and young adults in Switzerland has increased significantly within ten years. In 2017, nine percent of adolescents and young adults aged 15–24 reported having used cannabis in the past month.[45] The figures are much higher in the 20–24 age bracket, with 14 percent of men and 6.5 percent of women saying they had consumed cannabis in the past 30 days.[46]

According to a recent study, 5 Swiss cities (St Gallen, Bern, Zurich, Basel and Geneva) were listed among the top 10 European cities for cocaine use.[43]

Swiss authorities, including CHUV, estimate that dealers and traffickers make profits of $28.1-29.1 million a year in Vaud alone.[47][48]

Analysis of Swiss police records suggests that participants in medical drug rehabilitation programs tend to reduce cocaine, cannabis and heroin use,[49] and the need to commit other crimes to buy their drugs, such as shoplifting, burglary or car theft.[50][51]

In 2022, a near all-time record Brazilian shipment of 500 kg of cocaine was intercepted by the Swiss authorities at a Nespresso factory in Fribourg.[52] In 2023, the probe was "paused" in Switzerland, allegedly for failure to identify the perpetrators.[53]

According to a 2023 study, between ten and fifteen percent of the people who drive a vehicle in Switzerland are under the influence of dangerous substances (including cocaine).[54]

Theft

See also: Transport in Switzerland

19 cars are stolen in Switzerland every day (2021).[55] Forty thousand bikes are stolen each year (2022).[56]

Burglary

According to official statistics, Swiss police recorded 35,732 burglaries in 2022, which is a 14.6% rise compared to 2021.[57]

Homicide

Further information: List of countries by intentional homicide rate

In 2019, there were 161 attempted and 46 completed homicides, for a homicide rate of 0.54 per 100,000 population, one of the lowest rates in the world. Of the 207 cases, 105 were committed with bladed weapons, twenty with firearms and 47 unarmed. Out of 229 identified suspects; 197 were male, 126 (55%) were foreigners of which 72 had permanent residence. Twenty-nine cases (63%) of completed and 50 cases (31%) of attempted homicide were classed as domestic violence.[1]

Cybercriminality

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2019)

In 2016, 14,033 cybercrime cases were reported to police in Switzerland, compared to 11,575 in 2015 and 5,330 in 2011.[58] Swiss media reported that over three million Swiss email usernames and associated passwords are available on the net since 2019. These include login details of government ministers, government employees and the military.[59]

In 2019, computer-related infractions include the fraudulent misuse of a computer (5,583 cases in 2019, a rise of 598 relative to 2018) and pornography-related offenses (2,387 cases, a jump of over 50 percent).[60]

In total, some 30,351 crimes were reported in the virtual space in 2021 (with online sales of “non-existent goods” being the most common crime).[61]

In 2023, the Swiss government was the target of a major cyber-attack which purportedly stole very sensitive data that could endanger its national security and which was later available for sale on the dark web.[62]

Sex crimes

The Swiss legal definition of rape is "an assault during vaginal sexual intercourse with a woman", thus exempting men from the status of rape victims.[63] Rape is punished by a prison sentence of one to ten years.[64] Indecent assault, which includes "sexual acts similar to intercourse or any sexual act" (kissing, groping), is punished by a monetary fine for lighter crimes or a prison sentence of up to ten years. The sex of the victim is not specified.[65] The Swiss police recorded 867 rape offences in 2022.[66]

Pedocriminality

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2019)

In 2018 alone, the FBI reported 9,000 cases of child pornography and pedo-criminality originating in Switzerland, to the Swiss authorities (FedPol).[67] It is unclear what the Swiss police does with this list. Other reports have been compiled in recent years by private organizations on this subject.[68]

Cases of sexual abuse reported in the Catholic Church rose from 9 cases in 2012 to 65 in 2017 (63 percent of victims were 16 or younger and 27 percent were 12 or younger).[69] [70] But a study conducted by the University of Zurich in 2023 revealed that 1,000 cases of sexual abuse in the Swiss Catholic Church have occurred since 1950 referencing 510 offenders and 921 victims.[71] The study says it might be "the tip of the iceberg" only.[72]

Hate crimes

See also: Immigration to Switzerland § Racism

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2018)

In Switzerland public discrimination or invoking to rancor against persons or a group of people because of their race, ethnicity, is penalized with a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine. In 1934, the authorities of the Canton of Basel-Stadt criminalized anti-Jewish hate speech, e.g., the accusation of ritual murders, mostly in reaction against a pro-Nazi antisemitic group and newspaper, the Volksbund.[73][74]

In 2019, over 350 racist incidents were reported to the authorities. These cases relate to xenophobia (145 cases), anti-Black discrimination (132 cases) and anti-Muslim discrimination (55 cases), which is a "small percentage" of the overall racist incidents in Switzerland according to the authorities.[75][76]

In 2020, xenophobia was found to be the most frequent motive (304 cases) for discrimination, followed by discrimination against black people (206 cases) and Muslims (55 cases).[77][78] In 2021, 41 cases of anti-Asian racism were reported for the first time.[79] There were also 92 reports of anti-LGBT hate crimes in 2021.[80]

As of 2023, three out of 100 Swiss have experienced a hate crime. According to the same study, in 40.1% of the cases, the assault was based on origin, followed by assaults based on gender and appearance and with insults being the most common offense.[81]

Corruption

Main article: Corruption in Switzerland

Council of Europe's Group of State Against Corruption (GRECO) in its evaluation report noted that specificities of Switzerland's institutions which enjoy considerable public confidence. It underlines, however, that the very organisation of the system allows subtle pressure to be exerted on politicians and the judiciary.[82]

Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks Switzerland as the 5th least corrupt state out of 180 countries.[83]

In 2018 the Tax Justice Network ranked Switzerland's banking sector as the "most corrupt" in the world due to a large offshore banking industry and very strict secrecy laws. The ranking attempts to measure how much assistance the country's legal systems provide to money laundering, and to protecting corruptly obtained wealth.[84] The Helsinki Commission of the US Congress has strongly criticized the functioning of the Swiss judiciary and courts in 2023.[85]

White collar crime

In 2020, Swiss courts dealt with 52 major cases of economic crime that amounted to CHF355 million ($384 million) in losses. Most cases related to social security and insurance fraud.[86]

Crime dynamics

Immigrant criminality

See also: Immigration to Switzerland

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2015)

The crime rate among resident foreigners ("immigrant criminality") is significantly higher (by a factor 3.7 counting convictions under criminal law in 2003).[87] In 1997, there were for the first time more foreigners than Swiss among the convicts under criminal law (out of a fraction of 20.6 percent of the total population at the time). In 1999, the Federal Department of Justice and Police ordered a study regarding delinquency and nationality (Arbeitsgruppe "Ausländerkriminalität"), which in its final report (2001) found that a conviction rate under criminal law about 12 times higher among asylum seekers (four percent), while the conviction rate among other resident foreigners was about twice as high (0.6%) compared to Swiss citizens (0.3%).[88]

Individuals convicted of violations of the Strafgesetzbuches (StGB)[89]
Year Total persons
convicted
Total adults
convicted
Swiss adults
convicted
Total non-citizen
adults convicted
Percentage of
non-citizen adult
convictions
B, C and Ci
visa holders
convicted
Other
immigration
status
Unknown
immigration
status
1999 27,493 21,101 10,314 10,787 51.1% a a a
2000 26,692 20,609 10,201 10,408 50.5% a a a
2001 26,804 20,052 10,233 9,819 49.0% a a a
2002 27,930 20,925 10,307 10,618 50.7% a a a
2003 30,068 22,966 11,115 11,851 51.6% a a a
2004 33,167 25,559 12,357 13,202 51.7% a a a
2005 33,778 26,198 13,025 13,173 50.3% a a a
2006 34,350 26,582 13,347 13,235 49.8% a a a
2007 31,189 24,280 12,455 11,825 48.7% a a a
2008 33,326 26,350 13,433 12,917 49.0% 6,746 4,619 1,552
2009 34,683 27,752 13,452 14,300 51.5% 7,397 5,410 1,493
2010 36,318 28,702 13,612 15,090 52.6% 7,377 6,228 1,485
2011 34,591 29,162 13,108 16,054 55.1% 7,317 7,366 1,371
2012 39,043 33,969 14,095 19,874 58.5% 7,989 9,922 1,963
2013 40,726 35,528 14,309 21,219 59.7% 8,345 10,568 2,306
2014 38,906 33,995 14,052 19,943 58.7% 8,577 9,362 2,004
2015 b 36,017 31,560 13,423 18,137 57.5% 8,151 8,305 1,681
^a Specific immigration status not collected
^b Final number may change due to appeals and trials still in progress

In 2010 for the first time was a statistic published which listed delinquency by nationality (based on 2009 data). To avoid distortions due to demographic structure, only the male population aged between 18 and 34 was considered for each group. From this study it became clear that crime rate is highly correlated on the country of origin of the various migrant groups. Thus, immigrants from Germany, France and Austria had a significantly lower crime rate than Swiss citizens (60% to 80%), while immigrants from Angola, Nigeria and Algeria had a crime rate of above 600 percent of that of Swiss population. In between these extremes were immigrants from former Yugoslavia, with crime rates of between 210 and 300 percent of the Swiss value.[90]

The full report listed 24 nationalities plus the crime rate of Swiss citizens (fixed at 100 percent), and the average value of all foreign citizens combined, at 160 percent. Commentators expressed surprise[91] at the clear geographical structure of the list, giving, in decreasing order, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, Southern Europe and Western and Central Europe. The Federal Statistics Office published the study with the caveat that the sizes of the groups under comparison vary considerably. For example, the net impact of a crime rate increased by 530 percent among 500 Angolans will still be five times smaller than a crime rate increased by thirty percent among 46,000 Portuguese. The country is a target for foreign criminals on account of its reputation as an affluent nation.

Rank Country of origin Crime rate
(relative value)
Registered population
(thousands)[92]
Male young adults
(thousands)[93]
1 Angola 6.3 4.4 0.54
2 Nigeria 6.2 2.9 1.5
3 Algeria 6.0 4.1 1.2
4 Côte d'Ivoire 5.9 1.7 0.44
5 Dominican Republic 5.8 5.9 1.0
6 Sri Lanka 4.7 31 4.4
7 Congo (Kinshasa) 4.7 5.8 0.78
8 Cameroon 4.4 4.3 0.97
9 Morocco 4.3 7.4 1.6
10 Tunisia 4.2 6.3 2.1
11 Iraq 3.7 8.0 2.9
12 Colombia 3.2 4.2 0.71
13 Turkey 3.2 73 16
14 the former Serbia and Montenegro
(includes Kosovo)
3.1 188 36
15 Brazil 3.0 17 2.5
16 Egypt 2.7 2.1 0.81
17 Croatia 2.4 35 5.0
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.3 37 6.2
19 North Macedonia 2.3 60 12
total foreign national population 1.6 1,714 330
20 Portugal 1.3 213 46
21 Italy 1.2 294 49
22 Switzerland 1.0 6,072 710
23 Austria 0.8 38 5.8
24 France 0.7 95 21
25 Germany 0.6 266 62

On 28 November 2010, fifty-three percent of voters approved a new, tougher deportation law. This law, proposed by the Swiss People's Party, called for the automatic expulsion of non-Swiss offenders convicted of a number of crimes, including murder, breaking and entry and even welfare fraud. As the proposal makes deportation mandatory, it denies judges any judicial discretion over deportation. An alternative proposal, that included case by case reviews and integration measures, was rejected by 54 percent of voters.[94]

Organized crime

See also: Corruption in Switzerland § Banking, Banking in Switzerland, Italian mafia, Romanian mafia, Albanian mafia § Switzerland, and Russian mafia

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2020)

Swiss banks have served as safe havens for the wealth of dictators, despots, mobsters, arms dealers, corrupt officials, and tax cheats of all kinds.[10][95][12][96][97]

In 2022, Swiss media reported that one of Switzerland's top prosecutors (Dick Marty) was the target of an assassination plot by the Serbian government and Serbian mafia.[98][99]

According to the Swiss attorney general in 2022, one of Switzerland's "great weaknesses" is that his federal agency has no national overview to combat organized crime because of the federal structure of Switzerland and the relative independence of the cantons.[100] Besides, FedPol says it needs at least 200 more investigators to do its job correctly.[101]

In May 2023, OFAC imposed new sanctions on Swiss-based DuLac Capital Ltd and its Swiss director for Russia (Anselm Oskar Schmucki) allegedly for close ties to the Russian mafia and for facilitating financial transactions on their behalf via a global network of shell companies.[102][103] The director of the company says it is only "guilt by association".[34]

According to the director of FedPol in 2023, Switzerland is attractive to criminal networks in many areas as a hiding place, for drugs, arms, human trafficking, burglaries and ATM robberies.[104]

According to FedPol in 2020, about 400 members of the Italian mafia live in Switzerland.[105]

Human trafficking

Main articles: Human trafficking in Switzerland and Prostitution in Switzerland

The number of victims of human trafficking in Switzerland allegedly increased by fifty percent between 2019 and 2021 from 142 to 207. About two-thirds of the victims were trafficked for sexual purposes, the rest for labour exploitation and criminal activities.[106]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik (PKS) - Jahresbericht 2019 (PDF) (official federal site) (in French, German, and Italian). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFO). 2020. pp. 13, 26, 35–40. ISBN 978-3-303-19082-1. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren; Verurteilungen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene; Verurteilungen 2013–2014" (official federal site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren; Verurteilungen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene; Verurteilte Personen 2014" (official federal site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  4. ^ Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  5. ^ "Swiss Federal Statistics Office". Archived from the original on 4 December 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren: Verurteile Personen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene (in German) accessed 27 October 2017
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  66. ^ "Le FBI transmet plus de cas présumés de pédopornographie à Fedpol". 13 January 2019.
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  89. ^ Neue Statistik: Tamilen sind krimineller als Ex-Jugoslawen, Tages-Anzeiger 12 September 2010.
  90. ^ so Alard du Bois-Reymond, director of the Federal Office for Migration, see e.g. Blick, 12 September 2010.
  91. ^ data from Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  92. ^ aged 20–39; data from Swiss Federal Statistics Office
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  97. ^ "Serbian intelligence denies alleged murder plot on Swiss prosecutor". 12 April 2022.
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  101. ^ "With Over 300 Sanctions, U.S. Targets Russia's Circumvention and Evasion, Military-Industrial Supply Chains, and Future Energy Revenues". U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
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  105. ^ "Sharp rise in human trafficking victims in Switzerland". SWI swissinfo.ch. 18 October 2022.