Swiss accounts frozen in Anglo Leasing probe

April 7, 2009 12:00 am

, GENEVA, Apr 7 – Swiss authorities have frozen bank accounts in Geneva in a major investigation into the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Neue Zurcher Zeitung said the probe into the Anglo Leasing scandal focused on about 885 million dollars of Kenyan state contracts, including for weapons and police helicopters.

About half of that amount was siphoned off into a network of offshore front companies, while about 170 million Swiss francs reached bank accounts in the Swiss city of Geneva, including Schroder Bank, HSBC Private Bank and UBS, it added.

The NZZ said Kenya had asked Switzerland, the FBI and Interpol for legal assistance in the case, while Swiss authorities had blocked accounts in Geneva and seized documents during their probe into money laundering.

The Swiss Federal Prosecutors Office could not be contacted immediately.

A network of accountants and financial services firms in Geneva were allegedly involved in the affair with a trail reaching into the British Virgin Islands and Guernsey, the NZZ reported.

The 1997 Anglo Leasing scandal involved the payment of more than 250 million dollars in government funds to spurious firms for high-tech passports and police forensics labs.

It is one of a string of unresolved bribery cases that have tainted the Kenyan government’s campaign against against systemic corruption in the country


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