Albania Joins Hunt for Egyptian Dictator’s Billions

Prosecutors have asked a Tirana court to allow an investigation into possible money laundering by Egypt’s deposed strongman, Hosni Mubarak, his family and associates in Albania.The request follows receipt of a request for legal help from the Egyptian authorities, as they seek to trace and recover billions of dollars that the ex-president is believed to have siphoned from Egypt’s state coffers.

Mubarak and his inner circle are believed to have amassed of fortune worth tens of billion of dollars through kickbacks and corruption during his decades-long rule.

In June 2011, Albanian and Spanish prosecutors launched a joint-investigation into money laundering against an Azerbaijani businessman, Ali Evsen.

Evsen was arrested that June in Spain together with businessman Hussein Salem, a close aide to Mubarak. Salem, Mubarak and his two sons have all been indicted by Egyptian prosecutors on corruption charges.

An investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, said the Spanish authorities had arrested Evsen having become suspicious when he wired more than €17 million to a number of Salem family accounts at Bankinter, a Spanish bank.

However, in January 2012 the Albanian authorities cleared Evsen of money laundering charges and the investigation was closed.

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