Switzerland will implement a new law in July to help seize and repatriate illicit wealth parked in its banks by foreign dictators, the government has said.
The move is aimed at helping Switzerland and its wealth management industry shake off their image as a secretive haven for ill-gotten riches.
This issue was in the news again this week when the Monetary Authority of Singapore ordered the closure of Swiss private bank BSI’s operations locally, and Swiss prosecutors began criminal proceedings against BSI in the biggest international crackdown on financial entities dealing with a scandal-hit Malaysian government fund…..
Three ordinances cover assets previously seized as a precaution from former presidents Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine and their inner circles, although all three expire early next year….he government had blocked about US$650 million (S$895 million) in the case of Egypt, 60 million Swiss francs (S$83 million) in the case of Tunisia and about US$70 million regarding Ukraine…
It is good that Switzerland is moving to toughen its laws against kleptocrat looters.
Likewise, David Cameron of the UK warned at his anti-corruption conference this month that “if you want to steal money from your country and invest it in mine I will seize it and give it back to your country”.
Sarawak Report has already reported that Sabah’s Musa Aman stole some US$100 million from timber kickbacks, which were parked via HSBC and UBS Bank in his Zurich accounts – which is a case still pending in Switzerland.
Sarawak’s Taib has money and assets all over the world.
Now their Federal boss Najib is exposed for siphoning no less than US$7 billion from Malaysia… much of it now held in Swiss and other foreign accounts – also in AmBank, which is controlled by ANZ Australia.
It makes him a world record thief compared to the relatively minor sums stolen from the already deposed former leaders mentioned by the Swiss in their statement.