Ruled: President, 1981-2011
Deposed: Popular Uprising
Exiled: Not Yet
Wealth: $25 billion to $70 billion.
Egypt’s paper Pharaoh, who has ruled for almost 30 years, has finally stepped down, and the Swiss government has frozen his bank accounts in case Egypt’s new rulers decide to come looking for his money.
Mubarak has promised to die in Egypt, but he may yet run to London. His wife Suzanne has a British passport because she’s half Welsh. Her mum was a nurse from Pontypridd, who married an Egyptian medical student.
Mubarak’s son Gamal—once next in line for the throne—owns a fabulous £8.5 million Georgian terrace in Wilton Place, Belgravia, a stone’s throw from Harrods. Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper claims Gamal arrived in UK by private jet late January with his family and 97 pieces of luggage . But CNN’s film crew say they met him in Cairo four days later.
Hosni is alleged to be the world’s richest man with a $70 billion fortune. But file that with The Sun’s stories because it’s just a guess. Arabic newspaper Al Khabar claimed in 2010 that much of his wealth was offshore in Swiss bank UBS and the UK’s Bank of Scotland. But they don’t know either. This week’s Guardian story had no hard evidence and no named sources but it was swallowed by USA’s National Public Radio and hundreds of bloggers around the world. Bloomberg eventually spat it out again and took it off its website. But $70 billion is now chalked on the ground in Tahrir Square.
Bottom line is Mubarak has bucketloads of loot.
Egypt ranks 98th out of 178 countries on Transparency International’s 2010 corruption index, which means heaps of “bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement and embezzlement of public funds.” Foreign companies investing in Egypt typically gave 20 per cent of the project to a local partner. Mubarak and his ministers were often first in line.