Italy police seize 1.8 billion euros in Monte Paschi fraud probe

Italian judges ordered over 1.8 billion euros ($2.36 billion) to be seized in a probe into suspected fraud against the troubled Monte Paschi bank by a unit of Japan's Nomura and former bank managers, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The bulk of the seizure involved funds held by Banca Nomura, the Milan branch of Japan's Nomura International <8604.T>, the Siena prosecutors office said in a statement.

Smaller sums were seized from former Monte Paschi chairman Giuseppe Mussari, ex-managing director Antonio Vigni and the former head of the finance department, Gian Luca Baldassari. No comment was immediately available from Nomura, Mussari, Vigni or Baldassarri.

(Reporting By Silvia Ognibene; writing by James Mackenzie, editing by Barry Moody)