Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, Samih Shukri, says that Cairo has requested Washington to freeze the assets of 100 former regime officials including former president Hosni Mubarak and his family, due to issues related to corruption, fraudulent profiteering and manipulation.
“The embassy has received requests for judicial assistance from the Egyptian general prosecution for the United States to freeze any assets belonging to Mubarak and his family and some officials from the former regime,” said Shukri.
The ambassador said the embassy was quick to direct the requests to the United States and that both Cairo and Washington continuously communicate over findings from the investigations.
He said the Americans had yet to finish investigation because they had decided, in March, to deal directly with the Egyptian justice ministry and through an official in the American embassy in Cairo.
The ambassador expects to see a reply from Washington when both sides have shared their legal findings.
This won’t be the first attempts to seize assets of fallen strongmen in the Arab world.
Earlier this month, a probe to seize vast assets of Mubarak and former Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was launched in Europe and North America by Eurojust.
“The investigation into all European assets of these two former presidents has started,” a Eurojust’s spokesman Joannes Thuy told AFP.
“In addition to Europe, Canada and the United States are also involved as possible locations of these assets,” he added.
Thuy said the investigation started after a meeting between Eurojust, the European Union’s justice co-ordination body, and Tunisian and Egyptian authorities in The Hague, where Eurojust is based.
“Both Tunisia and Egypt explained the ex-presidents illegally transferred a lot of money out of their countries and invested in bank accounts and property all over Europe, even Canada and the United States,” Thuy said.
Thuy could not say whether any assets have yet been recovered but added it was believed to be running “into millions and millions” of euros.
Mubarak is currently facing a murder trial before an Egyptian court and may get the death sentence if found complicit in the killings of some 850 people who died during 18 days of protest that ousted him from power in February.
Ben Ali and his wife were forced into exile in Saudi Arabia in January after a popular revolt led to his ouster from power.