Dec 20, 78 • 1545 • Bern-State • 6265

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1341 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978BERN06265_d.html.]

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BERN 06265 201740Z
ACTION ARA-15 INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 IO-14 ISO-00 JUSE-00 L-03 TRSE-00 SS-15 NSC-05 INRE-00 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 FBIE-00 PA-01 /076 W
——————078968 201753Z /46 P

R 201545Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7430
INFO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMCONSUL MUNICH
USMISSION GENEVA
USICA WASHDC
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE BERN 6265
DEPT PASS JUSTICE
EO 12065: N/A
TAGS: EFIN, SZ
SUBJ: PEOPLES TEMPLE FUNDS IN SWITZERLAND
REF: BERN 6185

1. FOLLOWING IS TEXT SWISS ORDER BLOCKING ACCOUNTS:

QTE: THE US ATTORNEY IN SAN FRANCISCO HAS EXTENDED THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE SECT (JONES), OPENED TO INVESTIGATE THE MURDER OF A US CONGRESSMAN, TO EMBEZZLEMENT OF ASSETS OF THE SECT, AND FRAUD TO THE DETRIMENT OF SECT MEMBERS AND THIRD PARTIES.

“IT IS FEARED THAT A CERTAIN THERESA BUFFORD (MANAGER OF ASSETS OF THE SECT) AND ONE MARK LANE (LAWYER) WILL TURN UP IN ZURICH AND WILL ATTEMPT TO WITHDRAW ALL ASSETS FROM ACCONTS NUMBERED 220-00-042, 220.117.60J, CC 12100, 135-A AND THE SAFE DEPOSIT BOX 14665/HUK.

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“A FORML REQUEST FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TREATY BETWEEN THE COUNTRIES IS EXPECTED.

“ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 8, PARA 3 OF THE IMPLEMENTING LAW TO THE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY, THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY CAN ORDER PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES TO MAINTAIN THE EXISTING STATUS IF THERE ARE SUFFICIENT REASONS.

“ON THIS BASIS THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE WITH THE US, POLICE DIVISION OF THE SWISS MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND POLICE, ORDERS:

“A. THE ABOVE-NAMES ACCOUNTS AND THE NAMED SAFE DEPOSIT BOX WILL BE BLOCKEDUNTIL THE ARRIVAL OF A FORMAL REQUEST FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY.

“B. THE BLOCK WILL BE MAINTAINED AT THE LONGST UNTIL JAN 15, 1979; IF THE FORMAL REQUEST HAS NOT ARRIVED BY THEN, IT WILL BE CANCELLED.

“C. OBJECTION TO THIS DECREE CAN BE RAISED WITHIN TEN DAYS WITH THE POLICE DIVISION, OF THE SWISS MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND POLICE. THE OBJECTION WILL HAVE NO EFFECT OF POSTPONEMENT. UNQTE

2. CONTRARY TO EARLIER REPORTS, WE HAVE LEARNED FROM SWISS AUTHORITIES THAT UBS ACCOUNTS WERE NOT ENTIRELY EMPTY. WE WERE GIVEN THE IMPRESSION THAT SOMETHING LESS THAN $1 MILLION REMAINS IN THE ACCOUNTS.

WARNER [Marvin L. Warner, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland]

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Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Last modified on July 17th, 2022.
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