From The Telegraph:
Hosni Mubarak used the 18 days it took for protesters to topple him to shift his vast wealth into untraceable accounts overseas, Western intelligence sources have said.
The former Egyptian president is accused of amassing a fortune of more than £3 billion – although some suggest it could be as much as £40 billion – during his 30 years in power.
In the knowledge his downfall was imminent, Mr Mubarak is understood to have attempted to place his assets out of reach of potential investigators.
On Friday night Swiss authorities announced they were freezing any assets Mubarak and his family may hold in the country’s banks while pressure was growing for the UK to do the same. Mr Mubarak has strong connections to London and it is thought many millions of pounds are stashed in the UK.
But a senior Western intelligence source claimed that Mubarak had begun moving his fortune in recent weeks.
The revelation came as the ruling military council, which took power as Mr Mubarak stepped down on Friday, confirmed its pledge eventually to hand power to an elected civilian government, although it did not set a date.
It also reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel, as it outlined the first cautious steps in a promised transition to elections and “to build a democratic free nation”.
The military council’s spokesman, Gen Mohsen el-Fangari, appeared in front of a row of Egyptian military and national flags as he read a statement, proclaiming respect for the rule of law – a sign that the current system of emergency law may be ended.c
But demands were growing among protesters in Cairo last night for Mr Mubarak to be put on trial for corruption.
The former president was at his family villa in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh. There were unconfirmed reports that he was effectively under house arrest, as the focus of protesters moved from toppling the hated ruler to seizing his fortune, although the army’s ruling council which is in charge of the country pending its transition to democracy said Mr Mubarak was being treated with due respect.
During the protests last week, former deputy foreign minister Ibrahim Yousri and 20 lawyers petitioned Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, Egypt’s prosecutor general, to put Mr Mubarak and his family on trial for stealing state wealth.
The intelligence source suggested that 82-year-old Mubarak may have learnt the lesson of his fellow dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia, who was forced with his family into a hasty exile in Saudi Arabia while Swiss authorities froze the family’s bank accounts.
The Mubaraks are understood to have wanted to shift assets to Gulf states where they have considerable investments already – and, crucially, friendly relations. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have frequently been mentioned as likely final destinations for Mr Mubarak and possibly his family.
The UK Treasury said it would have the power to seize Mubarak’s British assets if Egypt made a formal request – and no order had yet been made.
Quite how much Mubarak has stashed away – and where he has hidden that fortune – in the past 30 years is open to speculation. His 69-year-old wife Suzanne Mubarak – known in some circles as the Marie Antoinette of Egypt – is half-Welsh while it is claimed the couple’s two sons Gamal and Alaa may even have British passports.
Intelligence sources indicate that the Mubarak fortune may be most easily traced via the business dealings of Gamal Mubarak, 47.
The president made his two sons the “go to” men for any companies that sought to do business in Egypt.
Dealing with the former president will present a major challenge to Egypt’s first real democratic government, which is expected to be formed after elections.
On Saturday night the army was in charge, hugely supported by the people after promising to hand over power as soon as possible. The army was quick to promise to honour all existing treaties including the crucial Camp David Accord with Israel.
Most Egyptians spent yesterday celebrating their new freedom.