Mubarak did not hold $9 billion in secret accounts: central bank

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Jan 2012

Bank denies media reports the ex-president pocketed money donated by other Arab nations, saying the relevant funds are part of Egypt's international reserves and remain the property of state

Mubarak
Central bank refutes claims it held accounts in Mubarak's name (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's central bank has denied media reports that ousted president Hosni Mubarak held secret personal accounts with the bank containing US$9 billion of funds misappropriated from the state.

On Thursday, an article in independent Egyptian newspaper 'Youm El-Saba' quoted an ex-official from the Central Auditing Organisation as saying the central bank held three accounts in Mubarak's name storing funds given to Egypt by other Arab nations over the last 20 years. 
 
Other media reports claimed some of the money was transferred overseas in the wake of the January 25 revolution.
 
In a statement issued Thursday, the central bank called media reports 'exaggerated', saying the bank still holds the relevant funds and they are owned by Egypt.
 
The bank's statement provided a breakdown of the funds that newspapers claimed made up the alleged Mubarak accounts.
 
The vast majority -- some $4.6 million -- was donated by Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE and Libya to Egypt between 1990 and 1992 under the collective title, 'Sum from Arab nations', the bank said.
 
This sum was added to the central bank's international reserves, with some deposited in foreign banks and the rest invested in US government bonds.
 
Returns on investment and interest meant the initial funds have nearly doubled in value and were worth $8.82 billion by the end of 2011, the statement added.
 
In addition, $5 million was donated by Kuwait in 1992, the bank said, with the sum maturing to $113 million in the two decades since.
 
The third 'account' concerned a further $376 million given to Egypt by Saudi Arabia in March 2008 to develop schools, the central bank added.
 
All these sums now form part of the international reserves and all are the property of the state, according to the statement.
 
The central bank added that after the outbreak of the January 25 revolution it had held meetings with all the heads of banks operating in Egypt. 
 
It also placed an upper limit of $100,000 on individual overseas transfers of money which is still in effect, it said.
 
The central bank reiterated that all money related to the Mubarak family has been frozen since 28 February 2011 by the order of Egypt's general prosecution.
 
"No money of Mubarak or his family has been transferred outside Egypt," its statement said.
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