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Swiss FEDPOL says organized crime groups increased in Switzerland

BERNE, June 25 (KUNA) -- The Swiss federal police (Fedpol) situation report 2009 identifies major forms of organized crime and details organized crime groups that are relevant to Switzerland.
The annual report of the Swiss FEDPOL launched on Friday pointed many threats faced the country last year such as drug and human trafficking, money laundering and cyber criminality.
These groups hailed from Italy, CIS countries, Georgia, southeastern Europe, and West Africa.
"In 2009 organized crime groups from countries other than these were active in Switzerland too, or were otherwise involved in underhand dealings linked in some way or another to Switzerland," said the experts.
For instance, there we reorganized criminal groups from the Dominican Republic dealing in cocaine, and Chinese criminal groups that, time and again, were involved in human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and credit card fraud.
Besides these were groups from Lebanon, North Africa, Turkey and Jamaica that were chiefly into drug dealing.
Organized crime groups especially from West Africa, eastern and southeastern Europe, and Georgia engaged predominantly in street crime such as street drug dealing, burglary, and robbery.
Essentially, money laundering is the follow-up act to profitable criminal activities. A great many of the proceedings conducted by the Swiss Attorney General's Office in 2009 involved investigations into money laundering offenses.
Most of these investigations were made in connection with criminal organizations and predicate offenses to white-collar crimes such as fraud and bribery. The main difficulty in money laundering investigations is not gathering evidence of a suspicious transaction, but rather in investigating the predicate offence.
This is especially the case if the criminal offense was committed abroad. Switzerland has lost nothing of its appeal to people traffickers as a target and transit country.
Most of the victims of sexual exploitation in 2009 originated from Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. There was a noticeable increase in the number of Hungarian women who had fallen prey to people traffickers, and a temporary surge in the traffic in women from Nigeria.
Information technology and electronic means of communication have become indispensable both in business and private life. Criminals are increasingly knowledgeable about state-of-the-art IT applications, availing themselves of the Internet to plan and carry out classical criminal offenses, safely, free, around the world, and without leaving a trace.
The possibility of communicating with others in word, picture, and sound-anonymously, encrypted, and the world over - is essential to all stages of planning crime. Furthermore, one-click hosters allow data to be uploaded easily and anonymously via a Web site and to be made available to others. (end) ta.sd KUNA 251824 Jun 10NNNN