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Swiss block more Montesinos funds

Switzerland has blocked several bank accounts thought to be linked to the former head of Peru's secret services, Vladimiro Montesinos. The accounts, which were held in a Zurich bank, contained some $10 million (SFr17 million).

The Swiss justice ministry said on Thursday that the accounts belong to close acquaintances of Montesinos, who stands accused of illegally taking $120 million out of the country by the Peruvian authorities.

A justice ministry spokesman, Folco Galli, said Switzerland had informed the Peruvian authorities that the accounts had been frozen. He added that they would have to file a demand for judicial cooperation to obtain more details about the assets.

Switzerland has already seized over $70 million belonging to Montesinos and his associates since last October, when the former spy chief went into hiding. He is still on the run, on suspicion of corruption.

A Swiss parliamentarian on Thursday called on the government to hand over the funds to the Peruvian authorities. Remo Gysin Klarheit, a Social Democrat from Basel, criticised the government for its delayed reaction to the affair.

swissinfo with agencies


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