Switzerland freezes assets of Mubarak
Switzerland has announced that it was freezing assets owned there by Hosni Mubarak, former president of Egypt, the media reported today.
The announcement, which gave no details as to what assets Mubarak or his family might have in Swiss banks, will send shock waves through the presidential palaces of other Middle Eastern countries, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"The government wants to avoid any risk of misappropriation of state-owned Egyptian assets," a statement by the foreign ministry of Switzerland stated. Stories of Mubarak's personal wealth, ranging up to wild estimates of USD 70 billion (44 billion pounds), long suppressed by state media, have been circulating among the crowds of protesters, the report said.
His family is said to own property around the world, including in London, Paris, Dubai, and the United States, and he is understood to have money in bank accounts in Britain, the US, and France as well as other Western countries.
82-year-old Mubarak, who ruled Egypt with an iron hand for over three decades, stepped down as President yesterday and handed over power to the army capitulating under mass protests sweeping the country's streets for the last 18 days.