GENEVA (AP) — Swiss customs authorities said Friday they were tracking about 3 tons of Russian-produced gold that entered Switzerland from Britain last month for possible violations following President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. The case of economic sanctions against Russia.
The gold was worth 194 million Swiss francs ($202 million), officials said.
The Federal Office of Customs and Border Security said it had been monitoring gold imports from Russia and said that a series of sanctions imposed by Switzerland on Moscow over Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine did not ban gold imports.
However, the customs office said in a statement that the Swiss sanctions prohibit gold exports to Russia. The office said gold bars produced in Russia since March 7 could not be traded in Switzerland, but bars produced before that could.
Switzerland has no commercial restrictions on other forms of gold, such as jewelry or coins, from Russia, the office said.
US news outlet Bloomberg first reported on imports of Russian gold being reviewed by Swiss authorities.
The Swiss Association of Precious Metals Manufacturers and Traders said on Thursday it was aware of “concerns” related to last month’s move and said none of its members – including Switzerland’s largest gold smelter – supported the move.
The association noted that while such imports are not illegal, it “wants to reiterate that questionable gold has no place in Switzerland and it expects its members to act with extreme caution and avoid buying when in doubt.”
According to the customs office, Switzerland has imported about 270 billion Swiss francs ($280 billion) worth of gold annually in recent years.