Uzan’s Swiss bank accounts frozen

23 Jun 2003

Three of Turkey’s wealthy Uzan family have been told by a London High Court judge that they will be denied access to any business funds, living or legal expenses that they may wish to draw against accounts held in Switzerland. Cem Uzan, his brother Hazan and their father Kemal all deny that they maintain bank accounts in the country, but the authorities claim to have evidence contradicting their claims. This ruling is the latest in an ongoing saga which began when Turkish cellco Telsim, controlled by the family, defaulted on loans owed to Motorola [NYSE:MEU] and Nokia [NYSE:NOK] to the tune of USD2 billion. The Uzans subsequently found themselves in court on charges of fraud brought by their creditors. Motorola successfully applied to the English courts for asset-freezing and disclosure orders against four members of the family, though the rulings against Cem Uzan and has sister were overturned this month. A New York judge is expected to rule over the charges of fraud in July.