Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2011
Mubarak Family Wealth of $40-$70 Billion Should Be Investigated
By Adel Elsaie
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 8, 2011
Due to the current 25 January Revolution in Egypt, we will postpone our videos on Islamic Youth Awakening to share and support the great Egyptian youth in their January 25 Revolution.
Watch Video of this article at: http://www.usislam.org/IslamicYouth/videos/Mubarak_Investigation.wmv The video is Br. David McClung reading this email.
In April 2010 The Algerian daily “Al-Khabar” published a documented report supported with figures about Mubarak’s family wealth given by well informed sources, and said that the family of Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, including his wife, Suzan Mubarak, and his two sons, Jamal and Allaa own more than US$ 40 billion in real estate and cash in banks, American financial establishments and Swiss and British banks.
In 31 Jan 2011, The Sun of London published a report that Mubarak is said to have amassed a £25 billion fortune for his family since grabbing power in 1981. Suzanne, Gamal and older son Alaa, 49, have become symbols of excess and corruption in Egypt. Half-Welsh Suzanne has even been nicknamed Marie Antoinette after the opulence-loving Queen who lost her head in the French Revolution. The fashion-loving First Lady holds a British passport because mum Lily May Palmer was a British - whose dad was a miner.
In February 4, 2011, The Guardian of London published a report that President Hosni Mubarak's family fortune could be as much as $70bn (£43.5bn) according to analysis by Middle East experts, with much of his wealth in British and Swiss banks or tied up in real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and along expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.
After 30 years as president and many more as a senior military official, Mubarak has had access to investment deals that have generated hundreds of millions of pounds in profits. Most of those gains have been taken offshore and deposited in secret bank accounts or invested in upmarket homes and hotels.
According to a report last year in the Arabic newspaper Al Khabar, Mubarak has properties in Manhattan and exclusive Beverly Hills addresses on Rodeo Drive.
His sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also billionaires. A protest outside Gamal's ostentatious home at 28 Wilton Place in Belgravia, central London, highlighted the family's appetite for western trophy assets.
Amaney Jamal, a political science professor at Princeton University, said the estimate of $40bn-70bn was comparable with the vast wealth of leaders in other Gulf countries.
"The business ventures from his military and government service accumulated to his personal wealth," she told ABC news. "There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain.
"This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition. These leaders plan on this."
Al Khabar said it understood the Mubaraks kept much of their wealth offshore in the Swiss bank UBS and the Bank of Scotland, part of Lloyds Banking Group, although this information could be at least 10 years old.
There are only sketchy details of exactly where the Mubaraks have generated their wealth and its final destination.
Christopher Davidson, professor of Middle East politics at Durham University, said Mubarak, his wife, Suzanne, and two sons were able to accumulate wealth through a number of business partnerships with foreign investors and companies, dating back to when he was in the military and in a position to benefit from corporate corruption.
He said most Gulf states required foreigners give a local business partner a 51% stake in start-up ventures. In Egypt, the figure is commonly nearer 20%, but still gives politicians and close allies in the military a source of huge profits with no initial outlay and little risk.
"Almost every project needs a sponsor and Mubarak was well-placed to take advantage of any deals on offer," he said.
"Much of his money is in Swiss bank accounts and London property. These are the favourites of Middle Eastern leaders and there is no reason to think Mubarak is any different. Gamal's Wilton Place home is likely to be the tip of the iceberg."
Al Khabar named a series of major western companies that, partnered with the Mubarak family, generated an estimated $15m a year in profits.
Aladdin Elaasar, author of The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age, said the Mubaraks own several residences in Egypt, some inherited from previous presidents and the monarchy, and others the president has commissioned.
Hotels and land around the Sharm el-Sheikh tourist resort are also a source of Mubarak family wealth.
This is in the time where 40-60% of Egyptians live under poverty levels of $2 a day.
Do we know that these numbers are correct? Of course not. Muslim Dictators don't publish their financial statements every year like heads of states in the west. However, it is not strange that the Mubarak Dynasty’s fortune is estimated at about $ 40 -$70 billion, because of the massive corruption of Mubarak dynasty and their business partners.
The Egyptian Attorney General ordered the following persons not to travel outside Egypt and froze their bank accounts:
Ahmed Ezz, Emperor of steel in Egypt, and a prominent member of the ruling party, and friend of Gamal Mubarak.
Habib El-Adly , the former Minster of interior.
Ahmed Al-Maghraby, the former Minster of housing and urban development
Zohair Garranah, the former Minster of tourism.
Rasheed Mohamad Rasheed, the former Minster of trade and industry.
He also ordered the arrest of the four former deputies of the Minster of interior including the one who was in charge of the homeland security.
Egyptian youth at Tahrir square surprised themselves by their newly found power, and surprised the whole world by their January 25, 2011 revolution. Egyptians and Muslims everywhere feel so proud that the 7000 years old country will never die.
As Mubarak dynasty is near collapse, It is not enough to ask for ousting Mubarak, his family, and his business partners but to be investigated by Egyptian Attorney General for any illegal fortune, and for crimes against humanity against thousands of Egyptians murdered and jailed by his regime. They should all be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
Please look at:
Mubarak Worth More Than $70 Billion
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