Geneva police have arrested 55 Georgians and Russians suspected of being behind a large rise in burglaries in French-speaking Switzerland during the past year.
More than 100 officers were involved in the operation in eight different locations on Tuesday, when 45 adults and ten children were arrested. Officers also seized jewellery, watches, clothes, computers and a firearm, the police said on Wednesday.
A special unit set up to combat the sharply rising number of burglaries in the region carried out the operation. Geneva police say the number of burglaries rose by 21 per cent in 2008 over the previous year.
Georgian nationals are responsible for a large proportion of these crimes, authorities say. Of the 305 burglars arrested in Geneva in 2008, 69 came from Georgia. A further 30 came from Moldova, Lithuania and Russia.
Out of a total of 100 people arrested for burglaries in Geneva so far this year, 40 are Georgians, the police say.
At the beginning of April the Vaud cantonal police arrested 34 Georgians suspected of being responsible for 150 burglaries in various cantons.
swissinfo.ch with agencies
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