Switzerland blocks Syrian assets

Switzerland has blocked 27 million francs (€21.9 million) worth of assets linked to the Syrian regime, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said on Sunday.

Financial sanctions and travel restrictions were imposed against 23 key players in the Syrian regime in May, including President Bashar al-Assad, intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk and interior minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Chaar, for their “involvement in the repression against demonstrators.”  

Contacted by AFP, SECO confirmed information first published in Swiss German paper ZentralSchweiz am Sonntag.  

“The total sum blocked is 27 million francs,” said a SECO spokeswoman, adding however that she could not specify to whom exactly the assets belonged.  

More than 1,360 civilians have been killed and thousands more arrested in the Syrian regime’s crackdown against pro-democracy protests since mid-March, according to human rights groups.  

Amid unrest in the Arab world, Switzerland has blocked some 1.217 billion francs in assets so far this year, according to ATS.  

They include 650 million francs linked to Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi regime, 410 billion francs linked to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his entourage as well as 60 million francs belonging to former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo’s regime.