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Czech MEP held over suspected bank fraud

A Czech communist member of the European Parliament and three Slovak nationals have been arrested in Zurich for allegedly trying to withdraw large sums from a bank with false papers.

Four men, including Miloslav Ransdorf, a member of European Parliament from the Czech Republic, were detained by Swiss authorities after attempting to withdraw 350 million euros ($380 million) from a bank in Zurich with apparently forged papers. The Czech Interior Ministry confirmed the arrest of the four men Friday.

All four were released, and the 62-year-old, left-leaning politician's whereabouts aren't clear.

"Swiss authorities told our ambassador that Mr. Ransdorf was released, so I assume he could be on his way home now," Michaela Lagronova, a Czech foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

More than a decade in Strasbourg

Tschechien Miloslav Ransdorf in Prag

Miloslav Ransdorf has been an MEP since 2004. He's a member of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, a successor party of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

In 2013, Ransdorf briefly came to attention for scuffling with a Dutch TV journalist who confronted him for checking in at the parliament for just five minutes in order to receive his

per diem of 300 euros.

It's a practice that critics have said is widespread and

has been going on for more than a decade.

Swiss police in Zurich told the DPA news agency that the suspected bank fraud has been referred to a prosecutor.

jar/sms (dpa, Reuters)

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