Russian "diplomat" in Switzerland tried to buy weapons shortly before Peace Summit

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Swiss security authorities thwarted an attempt by a Russian embassy employee to purchase weapons and "dangerous substances" a few weeks before the Global Peace Summit.

As reported by Tages-Anzeiger, intelligence services report that a Russian agent who worked as a diplomat in Bern "tried to buy weapons and dangerous substances in several places in Switzerland" – he visited a store owned by a Swiss-German arms dealer but did not buy anything.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office confirmed that as part of the investigation, law enforcement officers "conducted several searches in homes together with police forces in the respective cantons". It is unknown whether anyone was arrested or taken into custody.

A Russian spy in Switzerland is suspected of violating laws on military materials and the prohibition of arms exports. Another suspect is under investigation for suspected violations of goods control laws.


Although the Russian "diplomat" enjoys immunity, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office appealed to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to withdraw it, and to the Federal Council to allow criminal proceedings.

However, according to Tages-Anzeiger, the Russian diplomat has already left Switzerland.

There are about 80 Russian spies in Switzerland, which is about one-fifth of the total number of Russian agents in Europe, Swiss media reported

In 2022, Swiss intelligence also indicated that Russian espionage was "flourishing" in the country after waves of expulsions of Russian diplomats from European countries.

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