Friday, September 03, 2004

POLITICS: Swiss Arrest Seven Suspected in Laundering Case

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss police arrested seven people suspected of laundering billions of Swiss francs in illicit gains from trading drugs and weapons.

The arrests were made in connection with investigations of ``international criminal groups'' thought to have invested in cigarettes to disguise the source of their funds, the Office of the Attorney General in Bern, Switzerland, said in a faxed statement.

Police raided about 20 homes and offices in the Ticino, Jura, Vaud and St. Gallen regions, seizing a ``large amount'' of documents and assets. The people arrested are Swiss citizens and foreign nationals residing in Switzerland, the statement said.

``They are strongly suspected of belonging to or aiding a criminal organization,'' the statement said. ``They are accused of have laundered money totalling several billion Swiss francs over a period of years.''

No further details would be given while the investigation is ongoing, the authorities added.


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