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Switzerland Reportedly Freezes Accounts Of Former Russian Minister

Former Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik

Authorities in Switzerland have reportedly frozen local assets controlled by former Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering.

Russian media on October 28 quoted an unnamed source in the Swiss prosecutor's office as saying accounts in Skrynnik's name totalling some $61 million have been blocked.

Some $140 million in suspicious funds were reportedly transferred into the accounts between 2007 and 2012.

Skrynnik served as agriculture minister between 2009 and 2012. She currently resides in the French Riviera.

Earlier this week, Russian prosecutors asked Switzerland to freeze some $12.2 million in accounts controlled by former Deputy Agriculture Minister Aleksei Bazhanov.

That request was part of an investigation into allegations of money laundering through the Russian state company Rosagrolizing, which Skrynnik headed before being named minister.

In an interview with the Russkaya sluzhba novostei, Skrynnik denied having $61 million in Swiss accounts, saying reports that such sums had been frozen are "a lie."

Based on reporting by Interfax and Russkaya sluzhba novostei