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Frozen Ukrainian assets total 170 million francs

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Frozen Ukrainian assets total 170 million francs
Former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. Photo: Mykhaylo Markiv/Pool/AFP
11:21 CEST+02:00
Authorities in Bern have frozen around 170 million francs in assets held in Swiss banks by members of the ousted former Ukrainian regime, latest figures show.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the assets belong to former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, 63, his son and members or followers of his government.

Yanukovych fled his country in February following protests over his plans to reject an association deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

The Swiss federal government announced shortly afterwards that it had ordered frozen the assets of Yanukovych, his son and 18 former senior Ukrainian officials, including 11 former cabinet ministers.

This followed reports that the former president had allegedly plundered assets illegally from Ukraine, in addition to acquiring an opulent former state-owned estate in a forest reserve near Kiev, which he abandoned after his ouster.

The Swiss government then applied to further freeze the assets of nine other Ukrainians linked to the Yanukovych regime.

Until now, Bern had not indicated the value of the assets frozen.

The prosecutor’s office in March opened investigations into suspected money laundering by people close to Yanukovych.

The office said it was looking at “around five cases”.

An investigation involving Yanukovych and his son, Alexandr, is also under way in Geneva.

Swiss broadcaster RTS reported that Alexandr Yanukovych was the owner of a company called Mako Trading, with offices in the Geneva municipality of Petit Saconnex.

 

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