The fortune of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his associates in Britain may be estimated at £40 million, the British ambassador in Cairo said.
“I have information that the bank accounts of Mubarak and his aides in London are approximated at 40 million sterling,” James Watt said on 'Al Hayat Al Youm’ TV program on Wednesday.
“The British government has already frozen the assets of 40 people in the UK and is ready to do more to respond to any request by the Egyptian government to trace fugitives,” he added.
This week, leading Bristish paper the Independent reported that Egypt's former finance minister, Youssef Boutros Ghali, sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this month for squandering public funds, is living openly in London.
Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter told the paper that he was contacted by expatriate Egyptians living in his constituency who were furious that Ghali had been seen "wandering around London with impunity".
"This country once had a reputation for upholding International law, not as a refuge for criminals and fraudsters," Slaughter said.
"We are also letting down and neglecting our duty to the liberated people of Egypt who want our help in bringing their oppressors to justice," he added.
"The British government cannot claim to be on the side of pro-democracy protesters ... while simultaneously providing financial and physical shelter to former [eg. Mubarak] regime members accused of fraud, theft and/or human rights abuses."
In May, the International Criminal Police (Interpol) issued a wanted 'red notice' for Ghali, Mubarak's ally businessman Hussein Salem, as well as the former Minister of Commerce and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who also faces charges in Egypt of corruption, profiteering and misappropriating public funds.
Ghali, who was replaced as Egypt's finance minister in a cabinet shake-up amid the revolution, resigned in February as head of the International Monetary Fund's main policy steering panel.