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The New Egypt

U.K. calls for freeze on Mubarak’s assets

Jon Bithrey Feb 14, 2011
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The New Egypt

U.K. calls for freeze on Mubarak’s assets

Jon Bithrey Feb 14, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The Egyptian stock exchange is still closed. Probably won’t open for another six or seven days. And the country’s economy continues to reel after weeks of protests against President Hosni Mubarak, who resigned on Friday. Today, the British Business Secretary Vince Cable has called for an international effort to track down Mubarak’s assets all around the world.

The BBC’s Jon Bithrey is with us from London right now. Hi Jon.

JON BITHREY: Hello Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: What steps have been taken already on this?

BITHREY: Well, Friday the Swiss government ordered its banks to freeze an Mubarak related assets they held. You mention Vince Cable’s call there as well. This all does seem to be gather pace, but it may not be that easy, and it may be hard to prove that those assets were obtained illegally. You’d have to prove in court that Mubarak plundered the Egyptian economy for his own personal gain to get those assets. That may be harder to do than it sounds.

CHIOTAKIS: What is Mubarak worth, Jon?

BITHREY: Well estimates vary widely. Some believe that his family’s wealth could be worth as much as $70 billion, but there are much more modest estimates including from officials in the U.S. who believe the figure is much lower, something like $2 or $3 billion. Seems to be a mixture of property in company interests. We’re talking about in Egypt itself some related to President Mubarak’s son Gamal, who had been groomed to take over the presidency. The family also reportedly owned several properties elsewhere in the world. And according tot he New York Times, the family also had interests in at least one investment fund based abroad.

CHIOTAKIS: Alright, the BBC’s Jon Bithrey in London. Jon thank you.

BITHREY: Thanks Steve.

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