Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and the deposed presidents of Egypt and Tunisia managed to stash about $1 billion in Swiss banks. Swiss Financial regulators have identified over $400 million that may belong to Gadhafi or his government, The Washington Post reported
|Moammar Gadhafi (AP photo)
The Swiss also linked $474 million to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and $69 million to Tunisia’s deposed leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Switzerland has in recent years worked to shed its reputation as a haven for stolen assets of dictators and passed laws designed to seize and return such funds, the Post reported.
Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey wrote in an Op-Ed piece published in European newspapers that five days after the revolt in Tunisia toppled Ben Ali, officials ordered banks to freeze assets and took a similar action within 30 minutes of Mubarak resigning. Gadhafi’s assets were frozen after he began bombing his own people, the Post reported.
“The idea of Switzerland as a safe haven for stolen funds belongs to the past, and, if at all, is best left to crime thrillers. No other country has even come close to restituting as much money derived from illegal activities to the countries of origin as Switzerland,” Calmy-Rey said according to the Post.
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