Liechtenstein, one of the world’s most uber secretive tax havens, has joined Switzerland in freezing the assets of ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich’s administration.
An unnamed senior Liechtenstein government source told Reuters that Liechtenstein was freezing the assets of former party officials in the Ukrainian administration after other jurisdictions launched a wide-scale investigation into Yanukovich, his son, and 18 other individuals.
Earlier today, Geneva’s Justice Ministry confirmed that Swiss police raided Yanukovich’s offices in the city following allegations that he had laundered billions of dollars in public money.
The Geneva prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, added that Swiss authorities opened a money laundering investigation into Yanukovich.
“A penal investigation for severe money laundering is being conducted in Geneva against Viktor Yanukovich and his son Oleksander,” said Bertossa.
Ukraine is still facing a financial crisis as the newly installed prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, revealed that $70bn had gone missing from the public balance sheets and accused his predecessor’s government of hiding the cash in offshore bank accounts.
“The sum of $70bn was paid out of Ukraine’s financial system into offshore accounts,” he told parliament.
“The state treasury has been robbed and is empty. $37bn of credit received has disappeared in an unknown direction. The situation was so grave that there was no other alternative but to take extraordinarily unpopular measures.”