In October last year, there was a bang in Egliswil AG.
Unknown perpetrators have stolen CHF 1.56 million from twelve ATMs since 2020 in the canton of Aargau. According to the police, the total damage is CHF 2.16 million. The police speak of organized crime.
The perpetrators are groups that act independently of each other, as police commander Michael Leupold explained to the media in Aarau on Friday at the annual media conference. The groups differed in trading and preferred different ATM locations.
Perpetrators from Romania, Moldova and the Netherlands
There are sometimes loose connections between the groups in the form of sporadic agreements. The perpetrators come from Romania and Moldova.
There are also people from the Netherlands with a North African migration background (“Mocro Mafia”), it said. The majority of people enter Switzerland via Germany. The problem with organized crime is that you only ever see the tip of the iceberg.
Automata blown up: ATM crackers strike in Killwangen AG(00:44)
According to the police, the blasts were carried out with military or civilian solid explosives, with self-laboratory devices and occasionally with explosive gases. The Aargau, like the whole of northwestern Switzerland, was very badly affected by the ATM blasts.
38 cases in Switzerland last year
In 2020, six ATMs were blown up in Aargau, two in 2021 and four in 2022. There were at least 38 blasts across Switzerland last year.
“Our main concern is the question of life and limb,” said the police commander. “That worries us a lot.” The blasts could also affect the stability of the buildings.
“We are in talks with the banks about preventive measures. Of course, the best thing would be to shut down the ATMs like in the Netherlands,” Leupold said. Another possibility is to reduce the amount of money in the ATMs or to secure the ATMs with massive bars at night.
Increasing number of crimes
Overall, the year 2022 was a difficult year from a police point of view, said Leupold. Since September 2021, Aargau has been overrun with serial property crime. In particular, the number of burglaries and burglaries as well as vehicle and cellar break-ins have increased.
The number of crimes has increased in the past year, the clearance rate has remained the same, said Kripo chief Markus Gisin. Prevention is important. The aim is to shed light on structural crime with targeted control activities and preliminary investigations.
Record high amounts of drugs seized
In 2022, the canton police seized record amounts of narcotics. This is another indication that the narcotics trade in the canton of Aargau is professionally organized. With the international connection and the technical possibilities of the perpetrator, the procedures are long and complex.
Security is an important asset and a prerequisite for the prosperity and well-being of the population, Justice and Police Director Dieter Egli (SP) told the media. Another challenge for security policy is that the threats and risks are constantly changing. That is a challenge, also in view of the fact that the canton of Aargau still has the smallest police force in relation to the population. (SDA)