ATM blown up in Sevelen: indictment filed

Bern, 07.10.2021 - The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has for the first time filed an indictment relating to the blasting of an ATM in Switzerland. The charges are against a 30-year-old Romanian national residing in Romania. The suspect is charged with endangering by means of explosives and toxic gases with criminal intent (Art. 224 para. 1 SCC), qualified theft (Art. 139 para. 1 and para. 3 SCC) and qualified criminal damage to property (Art. 144 para. 1 and 3 SCC).

According to the charges, in December 2019 the suspect robbed an ATM in Sevelen in the canton of St. Gallen, by using explosives, and stole cash amounting to CHF 126,600. In addition, the destructive force of the explosives and the tools that were used, caused property damage of around CHF 100,000 to the ATM and to the outer facade of the affected building. According to the indictment, by detonating the explosive on an ATM on the outside facade of a multi-storey residential and commercial building, the suspect at the very least accepted that people could be injured, and other people's property damaged as a result of his conduct, and therefore knowingly and willingly acted with a criminal intent.

As part of the extensive investigations carried out by the OAG with the support of the cantonal police and fedpol, the suspect was identified and, on the basis of an international arrest warrant, arrested in Austria in June 2020 by the local authorities and placed in custody pending extradition. In August 2020, he was extradited to the Swiss law enforcement authorities and arrested by fedpol on behalf of the OAG. The suspect has been placed on accelerated execution of sentence since June 2021, until then he was on remand.

As is customary, the OAG will announce the penalties that it is proposing at the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court. As the indictment has been filed, the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona is now responsible for providing further information to the media. The presumption of innocence applies until a legally binding judgment has been issued.         

Criminal proceedings of the OAG in connection with ATM robberies with explosives in Switzerland

- The OAG is currently conducting criminal proceedings on around 30 cases of ATM robberies with explosives in Switzerland. The perpetrators often act across cantonal and national borders. The conduct of proceedings is thus time and resource consuming. This is also because many of the investigations have to be carried out through international mutual legal assistance.

- In principle, the OAG is always competent in cases of ATM robberies where explosives are used. Prosecution in relation to all other cases – for example the use of gas or tools such as crowbars or circular saws – falls under the cantonal jurisdiction. 

- For about two years now, the OAG, based on criminal proceedings, has noticed an increase in cases in which ATMs have been broken into using explosives.         

Address for enquiries

Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, Communications Service, Tel. +41 58 464 32 40,


Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland