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Report: Swiss authorities probing ex-Mezhprombank co-founder for alleged money laundering

Swiss authorities launched a probe into Sergei Pugachev, theco-founder of the collapsed Russia-based ZAO International Industrial Bank, or Mezhprombank, foralleged money laundering in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations, Swissinfo.ch reported July 25.

Pugachev, whose assets were frozen by Geneva justiceauthorities, is suspected of laundering about $700 million through 's Genevabranch, according to SonntagsZeitungand Le Matin Dimanche. The Genevainvestigators' spokesperson, Henri Della Casa, reportedly confirmed theinvestigation and the blocked funds.

In February, Pugachev was sentenced to two years in prison by the U.K. high courtfor breaching court orders issued as part of legal proceedings launched againsthim by Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency. Pugachev's $2 billion of were frozen in 2014,following a London high court order issued at the request of the DIA. TheMoscow arbitration court in April 2015 ruled that Pugachev should 75.6 billion Russian rublesfor his role in the bankruptcy of the lender.

Pugachev, who himself filed a $12 billion damages suit against Russia inSeptember 2015, currently lives in Nice, France, which is not willing to extraditehim, according to the news source.

As of July 25, US$1was equivalent to 65.31 Russian rubles.