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Swiss Banks Forced To Unblock Marcos Money

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

12 August 2002


The Swissinfo news service reported last week that the Swiss authorities have been forced to unblock accounts containing $17 million (SFr 25.6 million) linked to the late Philippines dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.

The accounts, in the name of Geronimo Velasco, Marcos' nephew and secretary, were blocked shortly after the dictator was toppled in a bloodless revolt in 1986. However, according to Zurich prosecutor, Dieter Jann, the Swiss government no longer has 'a legal basis on which to block these accounts,' because legal action in the Philippines is taking too long.

Swissinfo reported that a similar situation occurred last summer, and Mr Jann was obliged to release some $13 million from an account in the name of wealthy industrialist, Eduardo Cojuangco.

Although $10 millon in assets belonging to Marcos family members and friends remains frozen in Swiss bank accounts, this represents a drop in the ocean, by all accounts, as the government of the Philippines is so far thought to have recovered just $2 billion of the estimated $5-10 billion misappropriated by Marcos during his 20 year reign.


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