Coalition calls for action on Egyptian illicit wealth

10 February 2011.

The UNCAC Coaliton, including the Afro-Egyptian Human Rights Organisation and NADAFA-Egyptians against corruption, have called for urgent action on wealth illicitly transferred from Egypt.

The Coalition is deeply concerned about public wealth illicitly transferred out of Egypt. A report by Global Financial Integrity released in January 2011 finds that Egypt is losing more than US$6 billion per year – US$57.2 billion in total from 2000 to 2008 – to illicit financial activities and official government corruption.

Earlier this week, allegations were published about the wealth of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family. This wealth should be thoroughly investigated, and if illicitly transferred should be immediately frozen and then repatriated

The repatriation of assets illicitly transferred from Egypt could provide much needed funds for development in a country where 40 per cent of the population lives on less than US$2 a day.

The return of stolen assets is a fundamental principle of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which provides that States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of cooperation and assistance in this regard.

The UNCAC Coalition urges the Egyptian government to follow the Tunisian example and to take all necessary measures to enforce their right to restitution.

The Coalition further encourages States where stolen assets are reported to be hidden to freeze any assets owned or controlled by persons deemed to be responsible for the misappropriation of state funds in Egypt and individuals and entities associated with them.

In full accordance with their obligations under the UNCAC, Governments should also ensure that banks apply “enhanced due diligence” procedures with respect to transactions involving the above-mentioned Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

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