Switzerland has frozen $193 million in Ukrainian assets

Switzerland’s federal prosecutor has frozen 170 million Swiss francs ($193.34 million) of assets in Swiss bank accounts belonging to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich and people close to him, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Swiss government ordered the freezing of the assets of 20 Ukrainians, including Yanukovich and his son Oleksander, at the end of February. In March, it added the names of nine more Ukrainians to the list of people concerned by the measures.

Swiss newspaper Zentralschweiz am Sonntag said Switzerland’s federal prosecutor had opened five investigations against individuals suspected of money-laundering and the assets it had frozen in that context were partly identical with those concerned by the government freeze.

“The federal prosecutor’s office said around 170 million Swiss francs had been frozen in connection with the investigations,” the newspaper said.

The federal prosecutor’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The political situation in Ukraine is highly unstable with dozens of people dying in riots on Friday that were the deadliest since Moscow-oriented Yanukovich was forced to flee in February. A presidential election is scheduled for May 25.