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Switzerland arrests 12 people for speeding around Zurich at nearly 300 km/h

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By Matthew Holroyd
Cars are limited to 120 km/h on Swiss motorways, such as this one near Payerne.
Cars are limited to 120 km/h on Swiss motorways, such as this one near Payerne.   -   Copyright  FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Swiss police have arrested 12 people for illegally racing around Zurich at speeds of nearly 300 km/h.

The group have been accused of various speeding offences around Switzerland's largest city in "powerful, partly tuned cars".

Prosecutors say that some vehicles were recorded as travelling up to 287 km/h on motorways and almost 200 km/h outside built-up areas.

Police also said the suspects held "various illegal races on public roads".

Switzerland's motorways have a speed limit of 120 km/h, while cars are also limited to speeds of 80 km/h outside built-up areas and 50 km/h within built-up areas.

Eleven men and one woman, all aged between 24 and 40, were detained as part of the operation, including citizens from Switzerland, Italy, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The arrests followed a lengthy investigation by Zurich Cantonal Police and the Zurich Public Prosecutor's Office.

Authorities carried out coordinated searches at various house locations in Zurich in late April and also seized a number of cars.

"The Zurich public prosecutor's office opened criminal proceedings for speeding offences in all cases," police said in a statement.

Investigations into the suspects began in January 2019 after a previous anti-speeding operation arrested 21 people in Thurgau, St. Gallen and Zurich.

Prosecutors have also requested that four of the arrested suspects are kept in pre-trial detention. Under Swiss law, suspects are presumed innocent pending the court proceedings and until a final conviction is reached.