Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has dismissed former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid from his position as chairman of Arab International Bank on charges of corruption related to the Mubarak regime.
The former prime minister is accused of selling public assets at below value prices. His assets are currently frozen. He was close to Mubarak and was his economic advisor for many years. Mubarak named him, after he left the cabinet, as chairman of the Arab International Bank where he was paid a monthly salary of "no more than LE300,000", according to Ebeid.
It is suspected that heavy outflows were transferred from the Arab International Bank since the 25 January popular revolt that lead to the ouster of Mubarak.
Muslim Brothehood lawyer Mahmoud Ismail accuses Ebeid of being implicated in the transfer of funds of "corrupt businessmen and officials" abroad in "unknown and obscure" banking operations.
"No ministers or big businessmen are depositing accounts in the AIB," Ebeid said in his first reaction to the claims in interview with Al-Shorouk newspaper. On the contrary, he said, "Some 90 per cent of [the bank's] balance comes from small depositors."
Ebeid also denied claims that Arab International Bank was being used as a doorway in cash laundering operations, adding "The desire for personal revenge is behind such allegations."
Two years ago, ex-parliament members Abu El-Ezz El-Herreiry and Gamal Zahran demanded Arab International Bank close to halt its corruption. "The bank is turning into a giant octopus that is going to swallow public money," El-Harreiry said in an article entitled "A request for terminating the Arab International Bank" published on Al-Youm Al-Sabea website 11 June 2009.