Swiss banking officials filed 1,585 suspicious activity reports in 2012 to federal authorities. The suspicious transactions involved $3.3 Billion (3.15 Billion Swiss Francs). 6 of the cases involved almost half of the money that was flagged.
Between 2010 to 2012, the number of reports flagged by the Swiss banking industry increased by almost 50 percent when compared to previous years.
Since 2003, there have been 8,251 cases of suspicious financial transactions that have been forwarded to prosecutors. Out of this total, over 40 percent are still pending and over half were either dismissed or was suspended. 4.5 percent of the cases have reached conclusion with verdicts.
Source: Associated Press, “Swiss: 1,500 money-laundering cases last year,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 14, 2013.
Between 2009 and 2011, the Federal Statistics Office in Switzerland lodged 147 cases of human trafficking in the country.
Between 2000 and 2012, a total of 66 people have been convicted by prosecutors of human trafficking in Switzerland.
Most of the victims that end up in Switzerland are believed by law enforcement to have been trafficked from Eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. In addition, people from Brazil, Thailand and other Asian countries trafficked people into Switzerland.
Source: Maurício Thuswohl, “Brazilian sex traffickers target Switzerland,” Swiss Info, November 18, 2012.
The Justice Ministry of Brazil reported that it has found around 500 people who have been victims of human trafficking between 2005 and 2012.
Out of the total number of victims, 337 involved sexual exploitation.
The victims were trafficked out of Brazil and were operating in Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
(See human trafficking prices)
The Justice Ministry stated that over half of the human trafficking networks were managed by women who deceived the victims.
Source: EFE, “Some 500 Brazilians have been victims of people trafficking since 2005,” Fox News Latino, October 16, 2012.
The legal prostitution industry in Switzerland has 14,000 officially registered sex workers in the country, with 800 located in Geneva. In Zurich, there are a reported 11 prostitutes per 1,000 residents.
In 2011, the annual revenue of the sex trade in Switzerland was $4.4 Billion.
As the prostitutes are unionized, the official minimum rate that a prostitute can charge a client is $100.
(See more world prostitute prices)
One in Five men between the ages of 20 to 65 in Switzerland has visited a prostitute at least once in their lives.
Source: Helena Bachmann, “Facing Crackdowns in the E.U., Hookers Find Sanctuary in Switzerland,” Time, October 9, 2012.
Between 4 to 5 tones of cocaine is trafficked into Switzerland every year. The black market value of the cocaine is estimated to be worth $535 Million (520 Million Swiss Francs).
Out of a population of 8 million people, Federal Police in Switzerland estimate that between 25,00 to 32,000 people are regular users of cocaine. An additional 36,000 to 44,000 occasionally use cocaine in the country.
In 2011, law enforcement seized 401 kilograms of cocaine.
(Cocaine prices from around the world)
Source: Simon Bradley, “Switzerland’s cocaine hot spots rival Amsterdam,” swissinfo, August 17, 2012.
A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, cocaine use in cities in Switzerland is among the highest in Europe.
Everyday, up to 1.5 grams of cocaine is consumed by every 1,000 citizens in the Swiss cities of Bern, Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich.
In other European cities such as Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris, between 0.5 to 1 grams of cocaine is used by every 1,000.
Norther European cities had the lowest reported levels of cocaine use, with Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki registering 0.15 grams of cocaine use daily per 1,000 residents.
Across Europe, up to 356 kilograms of cocaine is consumed each day, which is 10 to 15 percent of the total global cocaine consumption.
Source: AFP, “Cocaine use in Swiss cities among highest in Europe: report,” Google News, August 6, 2012.
In 2011, the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) received 1,625 reports of suspicious activity reports, also known as SARs. The number of reports received in 2011 was 40 percent higher than the amount reported in 2010.
The amount of money involved in the 2011 cases amounted to $3.1 Billion (3 Billion Swiss Francs), more than the suspected money laundering activities in 2009 and 2010 combined.
The high number of filled SARs is reportedly due to an increase in political and legal enforcement of anti-money laundering laws.
Source: “Reports of money laundering up 40%,” New Europe, May 20, 2012.
According to a study by the Swiss government, as many as 2.61 million citizens living in Switzerland illegally downloaded pirated content from the Internet.
However, 4.99 million people purchased legitimate copies of movies, music and video games.
Source: Mark Hachman, “Piracy Pays for Itself, Swiss Government Says,” PC Mag, December 2, 2011.
The legal prostitution industry in Switzerland is estimated to generate $4.4 Billion (3.5 Billion Swiss Francs) a year, according to reports in 2011.
Source: Eveline Kobler and Etienne Strebel, “Making prostitution safer,” Swissinfo, September 6, 2011.
Roughly 3,000 tons of counterfeit Emmentaler cheese is produced each year that is not made in Switzerland. The counterfeit trade in the cheese makes up to 10 percent of the legitimate market.
Most of the counterfeit cheese is found in Italy, according to the organization Emmentaler Switzerland.
Emmental cheese is also commonly known as Swiss Cheese.
Source: Catherine McLean Winterthur, “Love your Swiss cheese? Careful, it could be a knock-off,” Globe and Mail, May 3, 2011.