Mafia numbers in Switzerland higher than previously thought

The Mafiosi are mainly based in the border cantons of Ticino, Graubünden and Valais Keystone

Significantly more members of the Italian Mafia live in Switzerland than previously assumed, according to the Federal Office of Police (Fedpol). It has confirmed an estimate by Italian prosecutors and experts that around 400 Mafiosi live in Switzerland.

This content was published on July 26, 2020 - 12:53

The NZZ am Sonntag quoted Italian experts who claim there are about 20 Mafia cells with 400 members in Switzerland. However, a Fedpol spokesman told the news agency Keystone-SDA that the number could be even higher, as “not everything” is seen.

Fedpol’s annual report for 2019 said the office had knowledge of around 100 members in Switzerland, mostly of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, but also of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Neapolitan Camorra. This corresponds to what is concretely seen in investigations and analyses, the Fedpol spokesman said.

The Mafiosi are mainly based in the border cantons of Ticino, Graubünden and Valais as well as in urban centres and agglomerations, according to Fedpol.

“They’ve been in Switzerland for years, don’t stand out, are well integrated and have jobs,” the spokesman said.

According to the 2019 report, Fedpol imposed 11 entry bans on Mafia members in 2019 and four the year before. Entry bans had also been imposed in previous years.


The report said Switzerland, located in the heart of Europe, is often used as a retreat that can be entered and left equally quickly. “Switzerland is a connection point for the clans in southern Italy and is therefore an ideal logistical platform for Mafiosi,” it said.

On Tuesday the Italian and Swiss authorities arrested 75 people in a joint raid against the ’Ndrangheta. The 75 arrested are accused of Mafia association, international drug trafficking, money laundering, false registration of assets and corruption.

The joint action was linked to criminal proceedings being conducted by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General involving six Italian nationals, most of whom live in Switzerland.

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