Home Civil Society Voices 2013 Civil Society Voices Swiss MPs push for freeze of Taib family assets

Swiss MPs push for freeze of Taib family assets

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GENEVA/BERN, Switzerland — Twenty Swiss MPs have filed a motion in parliament that calls for an immediate freeze of assets held by Swiss banks on behalf of the Malaysian Taib family, reports the Bruno Manser Fund.

Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud
“The Taib family is acting like a criminal organisation,” says Swiss MP Carlo Sommaruga

Last week, Geneva MP and lawyer Carlo Sommaruga, who is spearheading the move, also lodged a criminal complaint, asking the Attorney General of Switzerland, Michael Lauber, to declare the Malaysian Taib family a criminal organisation.

“All the evidence I have seen makes it clear that the Taib family is acting like a criminal organisation, said Mr. Sommaruga. In his submissions to the Swiss prosecutors and to the Swiss government, he demands that “all assets under the power of this criminal organisation deposited in Switzerland, specifically with the banking establishments UBS, Pictet & Cie, and the private bank Edmond de Rothschild”, should be confiscated under section 72 of the Swiss Criminal Code. Mr Sommaruga compared the Taib family to the clan of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha whose Swiss assets had been frozen.

The lawmakers’ move was triggered by recent statements by Taib’s former daughter-in-law Shanaz Abdul Majid in the syariah court in Kuala Lumpur. Shanaz, who is divorced from Taib son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, said that her ex-husband held 111 bank accounts in 10 countries and that three Swiss banks administered over US$100m for her ex-husband.

In June 2011, Taib Mahmud declared in the Sarawak state assembly that he had no secret Swiss bank account and pledged to “swiftly bring the truth to light” by fully cooperating with any probe by Swiss authorities. However, Taib refused to answer questions on the matter and did not comment on the possibility of assets held by his son or other nominees on his behalf.

READ MORE:  Upper Baram Penan villages reject logging and forest certification - NGOs

Last August, Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal case against UBS in a similar case involving a Malaysian top politician. The bank is accused of having laundered over US$90m of corruption proceeds on behalf of Musa Aman, Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah. Both Musa Aman and his Sarawak colleague Taib Mahmud have massively enriched themselves and their political cronies from the destructive and often illegal logging of Borneo’s tropical rainforests.

Source: Bruno Manser Fonds

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Mumbo Italiano
28 Jan 2013 10.47am

not one can last forever.. not even your old regime.. when karma start to clean up the unlawful act one shall be repent and convicted ..regarless who u are… this is a universal law…

alan newman, new zealand
alan newman, new zealand
25 Jan 2013 8.04am

He has a grip on 3 super posts: CM, Finance Minister, Minister of Planng & Resource Managemt. Nominates the TYT/Governor, appoints the Dep CM, all the ministers, all the city mayors, all directors of departments. Awards timber concessions for decades without tenders. Land grabs, (alleged) collusion with timber, oil palm , shipping & development tycoons. Cousin runs the Energy and the giant Naim Group. Devours all the mega million projects with prices (allegedly) inflated …, controls the media….Cling to power for 31 years… Now upcoming cronies (allegedly) plotting to take over and plunder another 30 yrs. Even USA Pres Obama needs senate approvals for appointments. What kind of democracy is this? Hell broke lose! This is not a can but a sea of worms, maggots, devils & monsters. Your CM is (immensely wealthy), and look at your rural living conditions. And you can tolerate another day without protest?

20 Jan 2013 12.33pm

wake up sabahans and sarawakians if not for yourselves then do it for your future generation

alan newman, new zealand
alan newman, new zealand
18 Jan 2013 2.56pm

These politicians & cronies are nothing short of lowest-life criminals. Despite their heinous crime, they still stand, walk and talk so proudly and gloriously. Criminals will do anything to save their skin when the stake is high. Police, Macc, A-G, Umno-Bn Politicians, Civil Servants, all are flocking together. … all the them. I speak as a 3rd party, neutral Country rated as one of the most democratic,
‘bersih’ and uncorrupt in the world – NZ.

alan newman, new zealand
alan newman, new zealand
18 Jan 2013 2.55pm

In Singapore, a bank robber gets many strokes of the rattan and is locked up many years.
Here, you elected someone to serve you; instead he lies, deceives, controls newspapers and radios, cheats in elections, and for 31 years (his administration) ‘steals’ from you … It’s a lot more if you add up the cronies’ and Dr MM & Najib’s (administration); Taib’s uncle Yakub’s (administration) before that. Worse still, they haven’t got 1% of remorse, they walk and talk proud and play God. Your CM & Dr MM deserve 5000 strokes of the rattan and 5000 years in jail.
You don’t even have road and drinking water in some villages. And you can tolerate another hour?

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