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    Switzerland returns $52 mln to Aerolfot

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    Swiss authorities have released 53 million Swiss francs ($52 million) in frozen assets to Russia's defrauded airline Aeroflot, the Swiss Justice Ministry said on Friday.

    Swiss authorities have released 53 million Swiss francs ($52 million) in frozen assets to Russia's defrauded airline Aeroflot, the Swiss Justice Ministry said on Friday.

    It said the money was wired to Aeroflot's bank account in Zurich.

    The Russian Prosecutor General's Office requested legal assistance from Switzerland in 1999 as part of proceedings involving the embezzlement of millions of rubles from the national flagship carrier, the ministry said.

    In response, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland gathered evidence, froze some Swiss bank accounts and started a criminal investigation into money laundering and corporate fraud.

    The case involved Aeroflot cash flows, some of which were allegedly misappropriated by two Swiss firms - Forus and Andava - founded by Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky.

    On July 11 and October 27, 2008, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court found those accused guilty of abetting misappropriation and ordered the seizure of approximately CHF 53 million.

    This amount corresponded to the loss for which Aeroflot was claiming compensation.

    PARIS, August 27 (RIA Novosti)

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