France probes money laundering linked to Ben Ali, Mubarak

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Public prosecutors in Paris said Friday they are investigating suspected organised money-laundering linked to Tunisia's ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.

The Paris prosecutor's office said it had opened the probes on Tuesday.

The two leaders were forced out of power earlier this year following unprecedented street protests against their decades-old regimes and their excesses at a time of economic plight.

France has been working on identifying French assets belonging to Ben Ali ever since he fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia in mid-January. Paris has already blocked the French bank accounts of the ex-leader and of his aides.

The former Egyptian leader's personal fortune is estimated between one million dollars and dozens of billions of dollars in cash and hard assets.

The non-governmental organisations Sherpa and Transparency International France earlier this month filed a request to open a preliminary investigation against Ben Ali and his entourage over their assets.

© 2011 AFP

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