Swiss banks freeze assets of departed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak

By Christine Duhaime | February 14th, 2011

The Swiss government has announced that it has frozen several bank accounts that it suspects belong to departed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, his family and close associates, until the source of funds can be verified. Mubarak’s wealth is estimated to be €51 billion; a large portion of it is said to be held in bank accounts and real estate in London.

Mubarak is a politically exposed person and as such, any funds he deposited into bank accounts in Europe should have been treated with special scrutiny to ensure that the funds are not proceeds of crime. A politically exposed person is a person who is or was a head of state, head of government, high ranking government official, judge or ambassador, and includes their family members.

The FATF 40 Recommendations and the European Union Directive 2005/60/EC require that financial institutions in the European Union have procedures in place to identify politically exposed persons, obtain senior management to deal with funds from politically exposed persons, verify the source of their funds, and continue to monitor their accounts.

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