Italian mafia gun runner sentenced to jail in Switzerland

The court rejected pleas for a fine from the defendant's lawyers. Keystone / Carlo Reguzzi

A Swiss court has sentenced a 63-year-old Italian to three years and five months behind bars for being a member of a criminal organisation. The man had worked for a 'Ndrangheta mafia group whilst living in Switzerland.

This content was published on August 31, 2020 - 17:52

The man, who was nicknamed the “Swiss Cosimo”, had collected and transported weapons for the mafia cell operating near to Milan. His criminal activities, which also included guarding an illegal hemp field in canton Bern, were conducted between 2003 and 2011.

An original trial in November 2018 had sentenced the man to three years and eight months imprisonment. The ruling was overturned as the court had wrongly described a camping saw as a weapon.

But the defendant did not escape a jail sentence when the case was sent back to the federal court for reassessment. The court reduced the term by three months to take into account the length of proceedings against the defendant.

But defence pleas for a fine were ignored as the man had never shown any sign of contrition for his crimes. The man’s defence team indicated that he would appeal the sentence.

Earlier this year, federal police said there were around 400 Italian mafia members, belonging to 20 different cells, living in Switzerland. This figure was revised upwards from the 100 mafia members, mostly of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, but also of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Neapolitan Camorra, previously thought to be operating in the alpine country.

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