The “Vitamintaube” network sent drugs across Switzerland via Telegram.
Almost as easy as ordering a pizza: in Zurich next Wednesday, a 31-year-old former courier of the “Vitamintaube” will have to answer. It was a professional drug delivery service.
The case before the Zurich District Court shows that drug trafficking no longer takes place in parks and on street corners, but on mobile phones. With the “Vitamintaube”, consumers could order drugs of all kinds to their home with just a few clicks via the messenger service Telegram.
Cocaine, ketamine or opium: Delivered in a red Opel
When the 31-year-old engineer from French-speaking Switzerland was arrested in Zurich in spring 2020, the first corona lockdown was just around the corner – and he had a corresponding number of customers waiting at home for the courier in the red Opel.
The accused had around a dozen different drugs in his backpack, including cocaine, ketamine, ayahuasca and opium, all packed in standardized portions costing CHF 100 each. Ecstasy and LSD were also offered online, as Blick research revealed.
There were actually around 50 addresses on his list – but for the “Vitamintaube” courier the next address was a Zurich prison, where he had to stay for two days. He now has to answer to the Zurich District Court on Wednesday.
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Payment by bitcoin
The public prosecutor’s office is demanding a fine of 180 daily rates of CHF 80 each and a conditional prison sentence of 24 months for the courier for crimes against the Narcotics Act.
The accused engineer is just a “small fish”. It is unclear who the backers of the “vitamin dove” are. According to the indictment, they never showed up and also recruited the couriers via the Telegram messenger service.
Romanian woman dealt drugs
The drugs were then sent by mail to the couriers, who picked them up at specially designated collection points. Payment was made either in cash or in advance with Bitcoin. The “vitamin dove” crashed after several arrests of couriers, the delivery service was stopped. In the meantime, however, he has reappeared under a different name.
A first judgment about the network was already in spring 2021. At that time, a Romanian was convicted who delivered the drugs as a courier for the service. She was expelled from the country for seven years and a conditional sentence of 20 months, as reported by the “Bund”.
At the time, the woman explained in court that the clients were assigned to her by the drug dealer. You would then be credited with five francs per delivery. She kept the drugs she was supposed to deliver at home and repurchased them regularly. The service is said to have stated that courier jobs could earn between 5,000 and 25,000 francs. (nad/SDA)