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Swiss freeze Mubarak's assets

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Swiss freeze Mubarak's assets

Switzerland's government moved to freeze any assets of Hosni Mubarak, Swiss officials said Friday.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said it would freeze any assets in the country's banks that might belong to the former Egyptian president or his family, without specifying how much money was involved or where it was.

Mubarak ended his 30-year reign Friday, stepping down following 18 days of protests against his rule.

An official statement from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said the Swiss cabinet had frozen all funds belonging to Mubarak or "his circles."

"The [government] intends in doing so to avoid any risk of embezzlement of Egyptian state property," the statement read. "At the same time, the cabinet calls on responsible authorities in Egypt to comply with the justified demands of the Egyptian people in a quick, credible, participatory and transparent manner."

"I can confirm that Switzerland has frozen possible assets of the former Egyptian president with immediate effect," a spokesman for the foreign ministry Lars Knuchel said, Reuters reported. "As a result of this measure any assets are frozen for three years."

Swiss Finance Minister Widmer-Schlumpf was asked earlier this week by Swiss national TV station SF whether Mubarak or his family had any money in Switzerland, according to NPR.

"We're in the process of clarifying this and we'll act appropriately," she said, adding that the Foreign Ministry was investigating the issue.

At the end of 2009, Egyptian deposits in Swiss bank accounts totaled 3.6 billion Swiss francs (about $3.5 billion), according to the Swiss National Bank.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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