Swiss prosecutors freeze Ryskaliyev’s and Khrapunov’s accounts in Switzerland
Aug 07. Tengrinews
Bank accounts belonging to the Ryskaliyevs and the Khrapunovs in Switzerland have been frozen, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan Agency for Countering Economic and Corruption Crime (financial police).
“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office of the Swiss Confederation is running a criminal investigation of the Ryskaliyevs on money laundering charges. The investigators discovered 3 accounts owned by the Ryskaliyevs and their close relatives in Swiss banks. The accounts contain significant amounts of funds exceeding 100 million Euro. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has frozen the accounts,” the message states.
According to Kazakhstan financial police, the Agency is working hard to find and return assets illegally obtained in Kazakhstan and transferred outside the country.
As for investigation of the criminal case related to the organized criminal group that the Khrapunovs have been orchestrating, the financial police sent an international request to the competent authorities of Switzerland asking them for legal support. The documents substantiating the request have were studied and analyzed by the Swiss authorities and served as a basis for the criminal prosecution of the Khrapunovs at the territory of Switzerland on money laundering charges.
“Switzerland’s competent authorities have arrested the assets of the Khrapunovs family until the time the origins of the funds are defined. Bank, financial and other documents were seized for review and legal assessment,” the police reported.
The Agency has sent an international request to obtain permission for investigation of the cases at the territory of Switzerland by officers of Kazakhstan’s financial police.
Former Akim (Governor) of Atyrau oblast Bergey Ryskaliyev and his brother Amanzhan Ryskaliyev, former member of the parliament, are accused of major embezzlement of funds from the budget of Kazakhstan. The brothers disappeared shortly after Bergey Ryskaliyev was released from his duties of the Akim. They were allegedly seen in London in the end of 2012.
Viktor Khrapunov used to hold high-ranking positions in Kazakhstan: he used to be Energy Minister, Almaty Akim (Mayor), East-Kazakhstan Oblast Akim (Governor) and Emergency Situations Minister. In April 2008 he immigrated to Switzerland where he currently lives with his family. 24 criminal cases against Viktor Khrapunov and his wife Leila Khrapunova are being investigated in Kazakhstan. According to Kazakhstan investigators, the Khrapunovs transferred to over $48 million and 7.7 million Euro to foreign accounts in Switzerland and to offshore accounts between 2003 and 2007. In October 2012 Leila Khrapunova was added onto the wanted list in suspicion of a major fraud. In late November 2012 Geneva prosecutors froze all accounts of the Khrapunovs in two Swiss banks, suspecting the family of money laundering.
Khrapunov denies all the charges and calls them politically motivated.