Swiss prosecutors blocking over US$83 mln (€60 mln) in Siemens corruption probe: official
The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
BERN, Switzerland: Federal prosecutors are blocking more than 100 million Swiss francs (US$83 million; €60 million) on accounts held by Germany's Siemens AG as part of a corruption investigation, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Jeanette Balmer told The Associated Press the figure had increased since prosecutors announced in November they had ordered funds belonging to the Munich-based technology company frozen while allegations of bribery were investigated.
At the time, Swiss prosecutors said they had blocked an amount in the upper tens of millions of francs (dollars; euros). Balmer declined to say when and by how much this freeze was extended.
Swiss prosecutors launched an investigation in 2005 to determine whether Siemens channeled money into secret accounts, used to pay bribes to secure lucrative contracts.
Balmer said the investigation, which centers on five persons — two of them former Siemens employees — was extremely complex because of the international nature of the investigation.
Investigators in Italy, Germany and the United States are also looking into bribery and corruption allegations against the company totaling approximately €420 million (US$570 million).