Czech Republic claims 12 billion crowns frozen on Swiss accounts

The Czech Republic has claimed 12 billion crowns from the privatisation of the coalmining company Mostecká uhelná which have been frozen on Swiss bank accounts due to suspected fraud and money-laundering. The country recently missed a deadline to confirm participation in Swiss judicial proceedings regarding the money. Prime Minister Petr Nečas told reporters on Friday that there are several possible ways of claiming the money, which will be analysed by the state prosecutor; the state will meanwhile be hiring legal representation in Switzerland. Switzerland began a probe into the case in 2005 on suspicion that the company’s directors were embezzling huge sums of money, some of which were allegedly being transferred to Swiss accounts within an extensive money-laundering scheme.