Groups demand freeze of Gaddafi assets: Switzerland, Britain respond announcing freezing.
Indian groups should follow the lead.
NITI (National Initiative for Transparency and Integrity) India should demand freeze of assets held abroad by Indian politically exposed persons (PEPs).
PEPs are a legally recognized category in international law, which includes specifically heads of state or governments, high-ranking politicians, high-ranking members of the administration, judiciary, armed forces or national political parties, and senior executives of state-owned corporations of national importance, or 2. natural or legal persons who are closely associated with politically exposed persons for family, personal or business reasons (close associates). See, for example, http://www.scribd.com/doc/38995251/Restitution-of-Illicit-Assets-Act-RIAA Swiss law in force from 1 Feb. 2011 about restitution of illicit assets.
A beginning can be made with the money well-documented illicit assets said have been held abroad in the name of the family of a late PM of India. Such moneys should be held within the Indian financial system for the benefit of present and future generations of Indians.
Groups Demand Freeze Of Gaddafi Assets
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Non-governmental organisations have called for the Swiss authorities to freeze the assets of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and some of his family members.
On Monday, the Arabic Transparency Organisation launched an urgent request with the Swiss cabinet, the federal prosecutor’s office and the foreign ministry.
A lawyer representing the group said it was imperative to avoid the loss of any funds deposited in Switzerland – funds which may have been generated through the misuse of public coffers in Libya.
He said that the Swiss authorities should block any assets immediately rather than waiting for the fall of the regime in Tripoli. The lawyer has provided the cabinet with a partial list of suspects.
Another process was also launched on Monday afternoon. In conjunction with the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity, the Geneva-based Right for All group filed a criminal complaint with the foreign ministry.
It calls for the assets of the Gaddafi clan to be blocked and requests that the matter be referred to the international criminal authorities.
The Swiss government has stated that it is monitoring the unrest in Libya, Bahrain and other countries in the region. However, it has not decided whether or not to freeze assets.
Earlier this month, Switzerland blocked the accounts of the deposed presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.
The foreign ministry said on Monday that several dozens of millions of francs had been frozen as a result.
25 FEB, 2011, 01.14PM IST,PTI
Switzerland freezes Gaddafi’s assets: Ministry
BERLIN: The Swiss government has frozen all assets of a bellicose Muammar Gaddafi and his associates with immediate effect to prevent misappropriation while the autocratic regime is still in office in Libya.
A government order issued last evening blocked the assets of Gaddafi and 28 other members of his clan, including his wife Safia al-Barrasi, his sons and his only daughter Aisha as well as several relatives and leaders.
“In view of the developments, the Federal Council has decided to block with immediate effect any possible assets of Muammer Gaddafi and his entourage in Switzerland,” the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.
In the past weeks, the Swiss government had frozen the assets of the ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, but only after they were swept out of office by the popular uprisings against their regimes.
The Swiss government has been following with great concern the use of force against anti-government demonstrators by Gaddafi’s regime and the civil war-like situation, which in the last few days claimed hundreds of lives and caused injuries to numerous other people, the statement said.
The government condemns in sharpest terms the Libyan regime’s use of force against the country’s population to suppress their demands for a democratic change, it said.
The statement said freezing of the Libyan assets is a precautionary measure to protect them from the “risk of misappropriation” by the regime.
The government’s decision bans with immediate effect the sale or any kind of transfer of Gaddafi assets, including properties, for a period of three years.
Media reports said huge assets of the Gaddafi clans are not expected in Switzerland because billions of dollars of Libyan funds deposited in the Swiss banks were already transferred in the wake of a diplomatic crisis between the two countries following the arrest of Gaddafi’s son Hannibal in Geneva in July 2008.
According to the estimates of the Swiss National Bank, Libyan deposits in the Swiss banks shrank from 5.7 billion francs to 630 million francs as a result of the transfer. It is still unclear how much wealth belongs to the Gaddafi clan, the reports said.
Switzerland Freezes Assets of Qaddafi, Regime Officials for Three Years
By Jennifer M. Freedman and Leigh Baldwin – Feb 24, 2011Switzerland froze the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his entourage for three years to avoid the possible “misappropriation” of the funds.
The freeze takes effect immediately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The move comes less than two weeks after the government froze funds and assets in Switzerland belonging to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his circle.
“The Cabinet sharply condemns the use of force by Libyan rulers against the population,” the ministry said in an e- mailed statement from Bern today. “In view of the developments, the Cabinet decided to block any possible assets of Muammar Qaddafi and his circle in Switzerland with immediate effect.”
The four-paragraph text didn’t specify the value of Qaddafi assets that are in Switzerland. The assets of Qaddafi and 26 other people, including his sons, have been frozen. It’s the first time Switzerland has frozen the assets of a leader who is still in power.
The Libyan leader, who has lost control of much of his country’s oil-rich east, appealed to citizens to end violence as his forces stepped up a crackdown on opponents and more than 100 people were reportedly shot dead.
The Swiss government has imposed similar freezes on assets held by former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Ivory Coast leaderLaurent Gbagbo. On Feb. 2, the government began a procedure to formally confiscate the Swiss assets of former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude Duvalier that have been frozen since 1986.
“The process in this case is exactly the same as with Ben Ali and Mubarak,” Andre Simonazzi, a Federal Council spokesman, said by telephone today. He said the government has condemned the violence in Libya and continues to monitor the situation. He wouldn’t say whether further measures are being considered.
An estimated 27 percent of the world’s privately held offshore wealth is managed in Switzerland, which has tightened money-laundering rules in the past years as it tries to prevent the inflow of illicit funds.
Libya is the latest regime in the region to experience a popular uprising following the toppling of governments in Tunisia and Egypt. Demonstrations have also occurred in Yemen and Bahrain, prompting Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, to make changes intended to increase living standards. King Abdullah yesterday announced at least $11 billion in spending increases on social security and housing.
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Britain to seize Gaddafi’s London assets: Report
AFP, Feb 25, 2011, 08.42am IST
LONDON: Britain will shortly seize billions of pounds in assets that Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi has stored in the European country, the Telegraph newspaper reported today.
Britain’s finance department has set up a unit to trace Gaddafi’s British assets which it believes include bank accounts, commercial property and a USD 16.1 million London home, the paper said.
“The first priority is to get British nationals out of Libya,” a government source told the British daily.
“But then we are ready to move in on Gaddafi’s assets, the work is under way. This is definitely on the radar at the highest levels.”
Britain understands that Gaddafi owns around 20 billion pounds in liquid assets, mostly in London. According to the paper, these will be frozen “within days.”
The international community has rounded on the long-serving ruler after he responded to anti-regime demonstrations with a violent crackdown that has claimed hundreds of lives.