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07 December 2023

Swiss Ben Ali freeze nets tens of millions of francs


A Swiss freeze on assets belonging to ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his entourage has netted a Swiss franc sum in the two-digit millions, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

“We do not give a detailed figure, we’re speaking of a sum in the two-digit millions,” ministry spokesman Georg Farago told AFP.

An official confirmed newspaper reports on Sunday that two financial institutions or intermediaries in Switzerland had recently notified authorities of 13 million francs in suspect assets related to Tunisia.

“Those are assets that have been reported,” a spokeswoman for the federal police office said, underlining that they might not be connected to Ben Ali.

The Swiss government ordered a three year freeze on any bank accounts or assets Ben Ali, his family or associates might have in Switzerland on January 19, days after the ex-leader fled Tunisia following a wave of street protests.

On Friday, it amended the list of now about 50 people concerned, adding six and removing one person included by mistake due to a homonym, the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported.