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frozen funds Switzerland releases CHF40 million in seized assets to Italy

parmalat milk products

Parmalat group is still under investigation for the fallout from a 2003 bankruptcy.

(Keystone)

Switzerland has returned CHF40 million ($40.5 million) to Italy in funds previously frozen due to high-profile investigations around two Italian industry giants, Parmalat and Ilva.

Some CHF30 million were sent back in November after a judicial confiscation order from Italy, where prosecutors have been probing the Riva family – former owners of steelmaker Ilva – for embezzlement and other crimes.

The release of the assets comes several months after a much larger instalment of CHF1.3 billion was repatriated in the case of Ilva’s alleged environmental malpractices, which may have led to 400 premature deaths due to toxic emissions.

+ Why Ilva is under investigation for environmental infringements

The money was initially frozen by the Swiss authorities in 2013, following a request from prosecutors in Milan, the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said in a statement on Monday.

The remaining CHF10 million was also released upon request from the Italian authorities, in mid-December, and relate to investigations around the Parmalat food group, which has been under scrutiny since a scandalous bankruptcy in 2003.

The Parmalat funds were frozen in Switzerland since 2004. Upwards of CHF10 million more in “patrimonial valuables” remain blocked, said the FOJ, and will be released “when Italy presents the corresponding confiscation order”.


swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos

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