Switzerland is being flooded with prohibited weapons


The sorting office in Mülligen. This is where Zurich Airport’s
mail shipments are sorted. And it’s also where several officers
from Swiss customs have been doing spot checks since the
beginning of this year. I saw this parcel
on the conveyor belt, and it looks like it’s got
six throwing knives in it. These weapons are specifically
banned by Swiss law. It’s a classic throwing knife with a symmetrical blade –
it pierces the skin easily. Throwing knives are easy to conceal
when you’ve got one on your person. I’ll wrap it back up and put it to one side and
we’ll see if there are any more. And indeed, there are more.
Many more, even. All of these knives are
prohibited in Switzerland. And despite that, more and more
are being bought from abroad. Between 2015 and 2017, customs confiscated around
4,000 illegal weapons each year. But in 2018
this amount almost doubled. Most of these
confiscated weapons have been coming here by post. And since the postal service
has been subject to stricter checks, the number of confiscated weapons
has risen sharply. Compared with last year – where we seized around 80
in January and February – we’ve had over 400
in the first two months of this year. An increase of around 500%. According to experts, the easy access provided by
Asian online sales platforms is the reason for this
inundation of weapons. With just one click,
you can order an entire arsenal of illegal telescopic batons. Customs authorities
now know which countries the shipments of illegal weapons
commonly originate from. So officers are now intercepting
entire shipments from certain countries. These are then scanned
by the sackload. This is a standard dagger,
a scout knife. What we can see here
could be a taser. So we need to open the bag
and take a look at the package. And his suspicions
are confirmed. It looks like a torch, but on the back here
there’s an electrical device. When you turn it on
and press the switch… … we’ve got a taser. All intercepted parcels
are then sorted by canton. This is one month’s worth
of seized items for a small canton: around 50 items. We’ve mostly got flick knives. They’re very common. Then there are the batons,
like we just saw. And then there are knuckle-dusters. Now we’ll take photos of the shipments
and then send them on to the public prosecutor in the
destination canton, and they’ll take it from there. This year, customs have already
forwarded 70 cases to the public prosecutor’s office
in Lucerne. And they take strict action against
those who order illegal weapons: We summon these people
and question them. A criminal investigation
is launched. This leads to a penalty and
a criminal record. And because ordering
illegal weapons online is so easy, many people don’t even know
that they’re committing an offence. We’ve got the 14-year-old
who’s ordered a knuckle-duster, We’ve got the 78-year-old
who’s ordered a flick knife. We’ve got women who’ve
ordered telescopic batons, for whichever reason. So we’ve got all sorts. We’ve got men, women,
of all ages, all occupations, from cities,
from the country, all walks of life. According to police, illegal blades and impact weapons
shouldn’t be trivialized, since they are commonly used in violent assaults. And they are also a threat
to the police: Blades are highly dangerous
for police officers. When used in attacks, they can
cause very serious injuries. They can cause lasting harm
or even fatal injuries. Customs officers are
well aware that, despite their
considerable experience, they uncover nowhere near
all of the illegally imported weapons. But they’re not
disheartened. It’s like the work we do
at the borders. There, we also have to make sure we get the right person
with the right goods. But when we can seize an item and thus prevent a crime, then we’ve done our job properly. When you see the
mass of parcels arriving: the customs officers aren’t
going to run out of work anytime soon.

3 thoughts on “Switzerland is being flooded with prohibited weapons

  1. This is why I just beat people to death with whatever blunt object is in reach. Saves a lot on shipping.

  2. für musIime sollten diese artikel legal sein, damit sie sich gegen
    die zunehmende flut an naz¡s verteidigen können

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