Carl Vevle, a Norwegian national, appeared at the criminal court in Zug yesterday on charges relating to the producing crystal meth “on an industrial scale” at his home in Unterägeri “with the intention of selling it on to others”.
It is now seven months that the investment banker gave an interview with a journalist of the Zuger Zeitung, presenting himself at the time as a caring father with an interest in chemistry.
And it is several months since last year when police broke into his flat in Erlimatt in the municipality after a neighbour thought intruders were on the premises. Instead of finding burglars, the police came across the now 42-year-old Vevle himself; he using a torch, as his electricity had been cut off. It was on this occasion too, that the police came across what at the time were unknown substances, and laboratories. It turned out the substances found at the time were actually 350 grammes of methamphetamine, which he had made from phenylpropane-2-one.
Vevle was charged with an accomplice, a Thai national, who now identifies herself as a woman, both of whom were suspected of having committed previous offences.
It appears the pair met each other in Geneva, where the Norwegian national previously lived, the latter having bought drugs, namely Yaba tablets containing methamphetamine and caffeine from her for his own consumption.
It was a result of the banker being made redundant in 2016 that he began to set up a laboratory making drugs, helped by his Thai assistant, coming to an agreement with her that she would receive 30 per cent of the income from sales, and him 70 per cent.
It was at a party at the end of 2016, apparently, that the pair initially offered drugs for sale.
The charges against the pair relate, as mentioned, to the Narcotics Act with the Norwegian facing additional charges relating to his having driven while under the influence of methamphetamine in February 2018.
The Thai national became known to authorities in Switzerland after presenting documents relating to a sham marriage entered into with a Swiss woman in 2005.
In court, both Vevle and his accomplice, who terminated their relationship in November of 2017, denied the offences, the Norwegian saying he had set up the laboratory out of an interest in science, mentioning that he had studied chemistry but did not finish the course. He admitted having made a small amount of crystal meth for his own use, but this was of such poor quality that it could never have been offered for sale.
Both Vevle and his lawyer mentioned in court how it seemed as if the prosecution wanted to portray him as “the methamphetamine producer of the century” though this was not appropriate, and highly exaggerated. This was more a reference to what could have been produced, rather than what was produced, namely just 40 grammes of the substance, the Norwegian reiterating he never intended to produce the drug to sell on.
As to his assistant, the Thai national maintained the whole thing was Vevle’s idea, she having no idea about chemistry nor about his production of methamphetamine, admitting only she had supplied him with small quantities of drugs; she had never intended to get involved with anyone who produced them. She mentioned, too, how she wanted to remain living in Switzerland. This after prosecution called for them both to be banned from Switzerland for ten years and calling for each to serve prison sentences of 36 months, 18 of them conditional for three years.
For their part, counsels for defence called for acquittal on all main points and considered expulsion from the country inappropriate.
Judges are expected to announce their verdict on Tuesday.
This article is based on ones written by Christopher Gilb and Andreas Faessler.