KIEV — Switzerland launched a money-laundering investigation into ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son on Friday after freezing bank accounts belonging to the deposed leader and over a dozen other top Ukrainian officials.
Swiss financial regulator FINMA said it had frozen the assets of Yanukovych, his son Alexander, and 18 other Ukrainians including ex-prime minister Mykola Azarov and former senior officials.
Agence France-Presse reported that Swiss police searched a company belonging to Yanukovych's son on Friday in connection with the money-laundering investigation.
Austrian officials also said Friday that they had frozen the local bank accounts of 18 Ukrainians "as a temporary interim measure" pending possible sanctions by the European Union over alleged human rights violations during recent anti-government protests across Ukraine.
The Austrian government did not release the names of those affected, but said the freeze was requested by the Ukrainian government.
Yanukovych, who had disappeared before being ousted by Ukraine's parliament last weekend, resurfaced in Russia on Thursday before holding a news conference in the southwestern city of Rostov-on-Don on Friday.
Ukraine's chief prosecutor said it has asked Russia to extradite Yanukovych, noting that the leader was wanted for criminal investigation for mass murder charges. Ukraine put Yanukovych on an international wanted list last week for his role in deadly clashes between police and anti-government protesters in the capital Kiev that left more than 80 dead.