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A Czech and three Slovaks detained in Swiss bank

CZECH MEP for the communist KSČM party, Miloslav Ransdorf, was detained on December 4 in Switzerland, together with three Slovaks. They tried to withdraw a large amount of money from a Zurich bank with falsified documents, the Pradva daily wrote.

Miloslav Ransdprf (L)in a stock photo(Source: Courtesy of Sme)

They entered the bank on December 3 and wanted to withdraw or transfer €350 million. In the bank, an account had been opened with a name which was also mentioned in court documents, but the birth date did not comply with the birth date of the account’s owner, and thus the bank refused the transaction. Then the men allegedly started to be aggressive and police were summoned. The origin of the money is now under investigation, the Denník N daily wrote.

The Czech weekly Respekt alleged that the men attempted to withdraw money with falsified documents. Ransdorf, on the other hand, claimed he had tried to establish communication between the bank and its client from whom he had full powers. The bank has not communicated with the client, identified only with the initials V. H., for ten years. Ransdorf refuses the notion that he would use false documents.  

One of the versions says that the money was “dead”, originally belonging to Jewish clients of the Swiss banks who did not survive the Holocaust, the Plus Jeden Deň daily wrote on December 7.

Along with him three Slovaks were detained, two of whom have been already released, returned home, and will be extradited. The third Slovak, still in pre-trial custody as of noon December 7, is allegedly the former mayor of the village Ivanka pri Nitre identified as P.G. After having served four terms, he was charged with land plot fraud in 2008, worth 20 million crowns (almost €664,000).

The whole visit of Ransdorf to Switzerland is mysterious, according to Respekt, as he was allegedly still in the European Parliament on December 2, and announced he would return to the Czech Republic the next day – where he had a meeting planned for the morning  of December 4. However, he has been unavailable since the evening of December 3, failing to answer phone calls or respond to messages.

Ransdorf was released on December 5 morning and returned home the next day, the TASR newswire wrote. He was allegedly preparing a press conference in order to clarify the incident.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said he had no information about whether anyone from the group has been charged, he said as quoted by the Hospodárske Noviny daily.  He only specified that two of the Slovaks had been sentenced previously in connection with tax evasion and fraud. The fate of the third Slovak should be decided soon.

Czech police are cooperating with their Swiss colleagues on the case. The proceedings in this case will be decided in the coming days, and the information will be updated. 

Topic: Corruption & scandals


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