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UNDER PRESSURE: US tried to search Swatch factories for terror clues

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swissinfo.ch and agencies

The United States pressured the watchmaking Swatch Group to open its factories in Switzerland to anti-terrorism experts, the chief executive has revealed in a newspaper interview.

“They no doubt wanted to check if it was possible to conceal explosives, poison or whatever else in the watch movements,” Nick Hayek told the Schweiz am Sonntag paper.

“They spoke about the threat of terrorism.”

Hayek said when he refused point-blank the request, the US representatives warned that the Biel-based company “could face import problems” as a result.

Swatch responded by saying the US would have to “explain that to the tens of thousands of employees in the US”.

No export issues transpired, according to the CEO.

In the same interview, Hayek said Swiss big banks had been “prematurely obedient” in the fallout from the tax evasion row with the US, although he noted they had done “appalling things”.


Posted by on April 7, 2014. Filed under Americas,Economics,Switzerland,Technology,United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to UNDER PRESSURE: US tried to search Swatch factories for terror clues

  1. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    April 7, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Do they not have any watch factories in the USA where they could check this? Looks more like industrial espionage to me.

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