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Money laundering cases on the rise

The police say the number of suspected money laundering cases and the amount of money frozen in Swiss bank accounts has risen sharply over the past year.

A special money laundering office created two years ago said at its annual news conference on Tuesday that 370 cases of suspected laundering had been reported between April 1999 and April 2000. That is more than double the number of cases reported in the previous year (160).

The office said it had ordered the freezing of assets worth SFr1.5 billion over the past year, compared to SFr300 million the previous year.

However, it said the increase did not mean more money was being laundered in Switzerland, but that efforts to uncover money laundering were paying off.

Full report to follow

swissinfo with agencies