Tunisia seizes plane of former Ben Ali crony

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Tunisia on Friday recovered a private jet that belonged to the son-in-law of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the official TAP news agency reported.

The plane that belonged to Marouane Mabrouk, who also had business dealings with Ben Ali, was seized by French officials in February following complaints by anti-corruption groups.

Last month, France opened a money-laundering investigation targeting several former Ben Ali loyalists, many of whom are believed to have stashed assets abroad.

Since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 following a popular uprising, Tunisia's new administration has tried to recover the ill-gotten assets of several people linked to the ousted regime.

The interim government took possession of Mabrouk's plane after it landed at the Tunis-Carthage airport Friday, TAP said.

The country's transport ministry is also trying to seize a plane currently parked in Switzerland that belonged to Sakher el-Materi, another Ben Ali son-in-law.

© 2011 AFP

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