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More Evidence Uncovered In Swiss Investigation Of Ambassador

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

13 August 2002


The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office has uncovered new evidence stregthening the money laundering case against suspended ambassador to Luxembourg, Peter Friederich, according to the Swissinfo news service.

Speaking to Swissinfo late last week, spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office, Hansjurg Mark Wiedmar revealed that there are now questions being asked as to the role played by the ambassador's wife.

Both Mr Friederich and his spouse have denied accusations of money laundering since his arrest on July 8, with the Swiss ambassador claiming that the cash in question was transferred to his account for tax purposes. However, according to Mr Wiedmar, the evidence gathered during the ongoing investigation now points to the fact that both Mr Friederich and his wife were implicated in a plot to launder the proceeds of international drug smuggling.

The spokesman revealed to the Swiss news service that some SFr1.1 million ($730,000) was deposited in the ambassador's private Luxembourg bank account by an individual known to the Spanish authorities for drug trafficking and money laundering activities, and explained that the proceeds were then transferred to bank accounts in other countries, belonging to other individuals known to the authorities:

'We have strong indications that persons were involved that are known to the justice authorities because of involvement in drug trafficking and also in the financing of drug trafficking and money laundering,' Mr Wiedmar announced.


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