Afghan Migrant Arrested After Acid Attack on Swiss Beauty Contest Model

Night view of the waterfront in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
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A 19-year-old Afghan migrant has been arrested in Switzerland after allegedly spraying a 24-year-old Swiss woman with acid in an underground car park.

The attack took place in the underground car park attached to the apartment building where the victim lives in the town of Neuchâtel at around 7:53 am on Thursday morning.

The victim, Elise T., was first found by a neighbour directly after the attack after screaming for help and the neighbour attempted to tend to the acid burns with water until an ambulance was able to arrive on the scene and take the 24-year-old to a hospital in the city of Lausanne, Swiss tabloid Blick reports. The paper cites neighbours who described the photographer’s model as a “lovely girl, very pretty”, who had recently entered into beauty contests.

Just three hours after the attack, police were able to arrest a suspect in the case, takin a 19-year-old Afghan refugee into custody.

Georges-André Lozouet, spokesman for the cantonal police in Neuchâtel, stated that police were not certain of the motive for the acid attack and stated, “Whether the suspect and the victim know each other and how they relate to each other, I cannot say at this time.”

A prosecutor has opened criminal proceedings against the 19-year-old Afghan and police have reached out to the public for any information and any witnesses who may have seen the attack take place.

The case comes just months after residents of Neuchâtel called on police to act against criminal migrants in the area, stating that they would sort the matter out themselves if no action occurred.

Acid attacks are relatively rare in Switzerland, but in the UK they have become a major issue in recent years, particularly in London which has been labelled a “hotspot” for acid attacks in the western world in 2019.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service recorded 66 acid attacks in 2012 but the number had risen to 752 in 2018, a ten-fold increase in just six years.

Associate professor of criminology Dr Simon Harding stated that acid had been used in a number of different types of crimes and said, “London has sadly become the acid attack hotspot in the western world.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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