Investigators freeze millions belonging to Mubarak or associates in Swiss bank

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BERNE - Investigators in Switzerland have said that they have discovered millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts belonging either to the ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his family or five of his prominent associates.

The New York Times quoted the investigators as saying that the accounts had been frozen, but declined to comment on who exactly is the owner of the huge amounts.

“What has been blocked is funds in the area of several dozen million Swiss francs. We are not specifying what their value is or whose money it is,” Adrian Sollberger, a spokesman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry, said.

Following Mubarak’s resignation on February 11, Swiss officials had ordered all banks in the country to discover and freeze his assets and those of his family, four former ministers and a wealthy party insider, the paper said.

The associates of Mubarak who have been targeted are Rachid Mohamed Rachid-a former minister of investment, Ahmed el-Maghrabi-a former housing minister, Zuhair Garana-a former tourism minister, and Habib el-Adly-a former interior minister. Besides, Ahmed Ezz, a steel tycoon and party insider, has also been put under the scanner of the Swiss officials.

Meanwhile, Egyptian opposition members have raised fears that the country’s military-led government would try to protect Mubarak, and his relatives from the investigation.

The paper quoted a senior official of the National Association for Change, an opposition group led by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as saying that an investigation should be carried out against the Mubarak family and 200 other officials.

“We don’t want to omit anybody from this regime,” George Ishak said.

Earlier, the United States Treasury Department had asked American banks to monitor movements of funds by former senior Egyptian political figures that “could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets, proceeds of bribery or other illegal payments,” the paper added. (ANI)

will not be displayed