Report: Egypt asks US to freeze Mubarak assets
The military government in Egypt has asked the United States to freeze the assets of its deposed leader Hosny Mubarak, CNN reported late Monday quoting a US administration source.
But the US State Department said earlier Monday it had not as yet received such a request. Department spokesman PJ Crowley said he was not aware of any specific requests about funds connected to Mubarak, DPA reported.
"Obviously, if the Egyptian government makes a particular request, we will take appropriate action," Crowley told reporters.
Earlier Monday, the European Union appeared to be closing in on the assets of Mubarak's regime held in the EU, although no official confirmation was available.
"I understand that a note by the Egyptian government has been sent to member states," an EU diplomat, who asked not to be named, told the German Press Agency dpa.
A freeze on Mubarak's assets has already been decreed by Switzerland, which was also quicker off the mark in the case of former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, another ousted North African ruler whose assets were frozen last month.
Mubarak stood down on Friday under pressure from an unprecedented popular revolt, after spending almost 30 years in power. He and his associates are now being investigated on corruption charges.
Estimates of Mubarak's wealth stashed abroad range up to tens of billions of dollars. The Washington-based Global Financial Integrity organization, a non-profit think tank, estimates that Egypt has lost more than 6 billion dollars a year from 2000 to 2008, due to illicit financial activities such as rigged commercial deals and the like.