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Sweden freezing Syrian assets in their bank

Monday, 09 July 2012
Syrian citizens and companies are having their assets in Swedish bank accounts frozen by the EU. Some 20 accounts with a total of Skr150 million in reported to be affected but the matter is not robustly made public by the Swedish FSA, (Finansinspektionen, FI,) and the, Foreign Ministry.

The most powerful man in Syria's business community, 42-year-old Rami Makhlouf, who has also become targets of popular anger at the country's privileged elite in said to be the cousin of President Bashar al-Assad. He is considered to be the owner of about half of Syria's business community. The business magnate controls the companies involved in everything from military equipment to telecommunications, transport and real estate.

Rami Makhlouf is just one of the 114 Syrian nationals on the EU list of everyone who had their assets in banks in the EU to be frozen. Among the others are a variety of high military officials, government representatives, owners of banks and oil companies that support the Syrian oppressor. Also the Syrian Central Bank money has been frozen.

The Swedish banks are by role required to report customers who are on the EU list to the Swedish  FSA. When the Newspapers started asking questions about those on the list and how the banks are dealing with them, as well as sought documents related to the Syrian assets in Sweden, the officials started getting nervous.

Sweden has coiled in the background to taking tangible action on Syria. They have verbally condemned the action of the Syrian massacres but Swedish companies are still doing businesses  with Syria.
Per Saland is the government's coordinator on the international sanctions. He knows about the Syrian assets in Sweden, but do not know how big they are. He also points out that the EU currently has sanctions against many countries.

"In Sweden, the process is usually not be any huge amounts. The Syrian assets are not on the same scale as the Libyan assets, which stood at Skr14-Skr15 billion," says Ambassador Saland at the Swedish External relations.
by Team

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