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Substantial Yugoslav assets blocked in Switzerland

(AP) -- Millions of Swiss francs' worth of Yugoslav and Serb government assets have been frozen in Switzerland, following the imposition of sanctions earlier this year, an official said Monday.

This content was published on December 20, 1999 - 17:56

(AP) -- Millions of Swiss francs' worth of Yugoslav and Serb government assets have been frozen in Switzerland, following the imposition of sanctions earlier this year, an official said Monday.

Othmar Wyss, the head of the Swiss government's export control and sanctions department, declined to give the exact amount of the blocked assets, but said it was a "not insignificant sum" in the millions.

The assets -- linked to the federal Yugoslav or Serb governments, companies controlled by them or people connected to them -- were blocked after neutral Switzerland in July agreed to go along with European Union sanctions against Yugoslavia.

However, Swiss police authorities say no solid evidence has yet emerged of any bank accounts in Switzerland linked to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic himself.

In June, the Swiss agreed to freeze any assets belonging to Milosevic and four other Serbian leaders indicted for war crimes -- Serbian President Milan Milutinovic, Yugoslav Vice Premier Nikola Sainovic, Yugoslav Chief-of-Staff Dragoljub Ojdanic and Serbian Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.

But no such assets have been reported to authorities so far, said Federal Police Office spokesman Folco Galli.

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