Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family have amassed a fortune estimated at $70 billion according to analysis by Middle East experts poll by the London Guardian
. And very little of that stash is kept in his own country, they say. Much of his wealth is in British and Swiss banks or tied up in real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and along expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.
How does a dictator get so rich? Over 30 years as president, and before that a senior military officer, allowed Mubarak has access to the oligarchs who control much of the investment capital in Egypt’s very closed, highly bureaucratic system. Investment deals have generated hundreds of millions of pounds in profits for Mubarak. Most of those gains have been taken offshore and deposited in secret bank accounts or invested in up-market homes and hotels.
According to a report last year in the Arabic newspaper Al Khabar, Mubarak has properties in Manhattan and exclusive Beverly Hills addresses on Rodeo Drive.
His sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also billionaires. A protest outside Gamal's ostentatious home at 28 Wilton Place in Belgravia, central London, highlighted the family's appetite for western trophy assets.
Amaney Jamal, a political science professor at Princeton University, told the Guardian that the estimate of $40 billion to $70 billion was comparable with the vast wealth of leaders in other Gulf countries.
"The business ventures from his military and government service accumulated to his personal wealth," she told ABC news. "There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain.
"This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition. These leaders plan on this."
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