Swiss say working with Egypt, Ukraine to recover stolen assets

miércoles 4 de junio de 2014 13:58 GYT

* Clampdown on tax evasion could help trace illicit funds

* Helping Egypt recover 700 mln Swiss francs tied to Mubarak

* 170 million Swiss francs linked to Ukraine's Yanukovich

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) - Switzerland is working hard to prevent ill-gotten assets of corrupt leaders from reaching Swiss bank coffers and an international clampdown on tax evasion could help the campaign, a senior Swiss foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.

Swiss authorities are already working closely with Egyptian counterparts on recovering nearly 700 million Swiss francs ($781.51 million) stashed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and aides, said Valentin Zellweger, director of the foreign ministry's international public law department.

The Alpine nation has also frozen 170 million Swiss francs ($189.8 million) linked to former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich and clan, the Swiss federal prosecutor's office said.

"We don't act only when they lose power. There is a whole legal arsenal to avoid that money comes to the Swiss financial centre," Zellweger told a briefing at the Swiss Press Club.

"There are preventive measures, every 'politically-exposed person' goes through an extremely deep examination. In Switzerland, a bank's board member must give the green light to open an account and it is reviewed every year," he said.   Continuación...