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CZECH

Swiss extradite Czech millionaire fraud suspect

Switzerland on Wednesday extradited multi-millionaire Czech businessman Tomas Pitr to his home country, where he is wanted for fraud and tax offences.

“He flew today from Zurich to Prague, accompanied by three Czech police officers,” said the Swiss Justice Ministry in a statement.

Pitr had fled his country in 2007 to avoid a six-year jail term for fraud, abuse of confidence and tax offences.

An international arrest warrant was issued for the 40-year-old entrepreneur, who is one of the Czech Republic’s most hunted.

In July 2010, he was arrested in a luxury hotel at the ski resort of St Moritz, and has since been detained pending extradition in Switzerland.

Pitr had appealed against the extradition but lost the case before Switzerland’s highest criminal court in September 2011.

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CORRUPTION

Swiss seize millions in Czech energy case

Switzerland said on Monday it was freezing 600 million francs in assets and charging seven people in connection with an allegedly illegal takeover of one of the Czech Republic's biggest energy firms.

Switzerland had first opened a probe into the case in 2005, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

After six years of investigation, prosecutors said they had sufficient proof to charge “the directors of the company, … with having set up a particularly complex structure in different countries, including Switzerland, in order to misappropriate the company’s assets for private purposes.”

The move had allowed these individuals to take over the energy firm “without having to spend a cent.”

A significant part of the embezzled assets were transferred to Switzerland to be laundered, added prosecutors.

One hundred bank accounts have been identified to be linked to the case, and as a precautionary measure, Switzerland has seized 600 million francs ($678 million).

When contacted, the attorney general’s office declined to identify the energy firm.

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