Less than 2 weeks of the 2011 Libyan revolution, Switzerland has confirmed the immediate freeze of any assets that may belong to president Moammar Gadhafi and his entourage.
Although unclear about the exact estimation of the Libyan assets in various Swiss banks, officials informed the AFP that total Swiss banking relations with Libya amounted to 613 million Swiss francs, with an additional 205 million francs in paper or fiduciary operations.
The freeze, lasting for a total of three years, will enable organizations to locate any luxury goods, real estate properties or other deposits linked to the ruler and his associates.
The Libyan foreign ministry however denies Gadhafi owning any Swiss bank accounts or funds. In a statement, the ministry said, We demand that ... Switzerland proves that the brother leader has funds or bank accounts in its banks or in any other banks around the world.
The ministry further stated that if the Swiss government fails to prove authentication for the unfounded statement, the Libyan ministry will take appropriate legal procedures to address the issue.
Similar asset freezes have also been imposed earlier by the Swiss government during the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. However, such steps were taken only after Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali were ousted.