Traded weapons in Darknet: Charge against Swiss Ex-Police Officer

11/11/2020Darknet News, Europe, Law Enforcement

An ex-manager of the Swiss police force has to answer to the court. As the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (BA) announced on Thursday, it is bringing charges against a 57-year-old Swiss man who worked for the Swiss cantonal police force as head of logistics until April 2018. The accusations are strong: The BA accuses the man of multiple violations of the weapons law and multiple violations of official secrecy. One of the triggers for the investigation was the suspicion that the man had ordered ammunition from the police for 180,000 Swiss francs for his own purposes.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg: “According to the indictment, the accused sold weapons illegally to various people on several occasions between 2012 and 2013, as well as setting up a Darknet account and illegally offering weapons and ammunition for sale through it,” writes the BA. All of these sales were made “without the necessary permits and documentation, i.e. without proper authorization”. Whether or not he made use of the stocks of the Swiss cantonal police for these arms sales was “not relevant to the accused offences”.

80 weapons and several tens of thousands of cartridges

In the case of the man, 80 weapons and several tens of thousands of cartridges were seized and confiscated. In the course of the investigation, which has been ongoing since 2018, he was remanded in custody for two and a half months and then released.

The Swiss citizen is also accused of violating official secrecy. He is alleged to have provided a German citizen with information concerning criminal proceedings against him. This was the accomplice of the police officer. Together they are said to have sold the weapons.

Cooperation with Germany

In order to get the ammunition, the man had also forged documents. He proceeded as follows: He filled out a work order and had his superior take aim at him. He then changed the ordered items and the order quantity himself.

The Federal Office of Police (Fedpol), the Zurich Cantonal Police and the German criminal prosecution authorities were also involved in the investigation. The BA will announce what kind of criminal charges it will bring at the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court. The presumption of innocence applies until a legally binding verdict has been reached.