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Another SFr290 million of Libyan assets frozen

The Swiss government says it has frozen a further SFr290 million ($350 million) worth of Libyan assets in Switzerland.

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said the value of Libyan assets now blocked on Swiss accounts totalled SFr650 million.

Calmy-Rey told parliament on Tuesday that the vast majority of newly discovered assets belong to Libyan public companies rather than individuals.

Switzerland has joined other European countries and the United States in blocking funds linked to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, his entourage and state-owned companies controlled by them.

Banks and other financial institutions are required to declare any assets they hold that belong to persons or organisations subject to sanctions.

Libya is one of five major cases of frozen assets in Switzerland this year. At the end of May Switzerland announced it was extending sanctions against Syria to include travel bans and asset freezes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and nine senior officials.

It has also frozen SFr60 million belonging to former Tunisian dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his clan and identified about SFr400 million belonging to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his close entourage.

Switzerland has also frozen SFr70 million in assets belonging to former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo and his entourage. and agencies


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