$1 billion in blocked 'Arab spring' assets in Swiss coffers

ByREUTERS
October 16, 2012 12:33

GENEVA - Switzerland has blocked nearly one billion Swiss francs ($1.07 billion) in stolen assets linked to dictators in four countries at the center of the Arab spring - Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia - the Swiss foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Swiss authorities are cooperating with judicial authorities in Tunisia and Egypt to speed restoration of the funds, 700 million francs of which are tied to former President Hosni Mubarak and his entourage, said Valentin Zellweger, head of the international law department at the Swiss foreign ministry.

"Today a total of one billion francs is blocked in the framework of Arab spring," he told a news briefing in Geneva, giving the latest figures for funds seized since early 2011.

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