In pursuit of Mubarak’s billions

In pursuit of Mubarak's billions

On Saturday, I did a blog entry looking at how Hosni Mubarak became so stinking rich. As I pointed out the time, suspending the constitution of a country for 30 years does have some perks. He took a slice of virtually every significant business deal in the country, from development projects throughout the Nile basin to transit projects on the Suez Canal, a conduit for the world's oil.

While Switzerland has frozen his assets, it's all come too late. The money will never be recovered.

The Telegraph reports that in his last days of power, Mubarak was very busy. Sources have told the Telegraph that he was moving his billions out of reach. ""We're aware of some urgent conversations within the Mubarak family about how to save these assets," said the source, "And we think their financial advisers have moved some of the money around. If he had real money in Zurich, it may be gone by now," the source said.

There should be strong international concern about where Mr Mubarak has been storing his assets, in case any of it was obtained illegally. British business secretary Vince Cable has called for international action to locate the money. The question is whether it's too late. Once more, regulators have closed the gate after the horse has bolted.


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