Switzerland blocks more Ukrainian assets

11th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland, which led a push to block assets of ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and others, has frozen the holdings of nine more individuals including one of his sons.

Swiss authorities, which last month ordered a freeze on the assets of Yanukovych, his coal magnate son Oleksandr and 18 other Ukrainians, published an order late on Monday extending their net.

Among the newcomers to the list was the ex-leader's second son Viktor junior, a member of parliament, as well as the son of former prime minister Mykola Azarov, Oleksii.

Also added were Ukraine's former security chief Oleksandr Yakymenko, and Artem Pshonka, a top figure in Yanukovych's Regions Party and son of the country's former attorney general.

The other new names on the Swiss list were two former members of the government, two ex-presidential advisers and a businessman.

Swiss authorities have declined to reveal the sums frozen, and have said that they will hand the money over to Ukraine if it is ruled to be of illicit origin.

But for that to happen, Yanukovych and the other individuals on the list will have to be tried and found guilty of corruption.

Switzerland has offered to work closely with Ukraine's new authorities to help them track down the origin of potentially shady assets.

Ukraine's new leaders accuse Yanukovych and his allies of syphoning billions of dollars out of the country's teetering economy.

Ukrainians, grappling with an economy on the brink of default, were shocked by the opulence of Yanukovych's vast country estate which was flung open for all to see when he went into hiding last month.

The 28-nation European Union, of which neither Switzerland nor Ukraine is a member, also froze the assets of Yanukovych and his entourage after Bern acted last month, as did Switzerland's neighbour Liechtenstein.


© 2014 AFP

0 Comments To This Article