Mubarak is out -- but he may take unimaginable wealth out with him. Estimates of his stolen fortune range as high as $70 billion, more than a third of the entire Egyptian economy.
Time is running out for world governments to freeze Mubarak’s assets before they disappear into a maze of obscure bank accounts -- like so many other dictator's stolen fortunes. Switzerland has already frozen his finances, and some EU ministers have offered help -- but without an immediate global outcry, action may come too slowly to stop the Mubarak billions from vanishing.
Let's call on leaders of all nations to ensure that Egypt's money is returned to the people. Our petition will be delivered, if we reach 500,000 signatures, to G20 finance ministers when they meet this Friday in Paris. Let's add our names now and spread the word!
Millions of Egyptians live on less than $2 per day -- yet experts say that corruption costs Egypt more than $6 billion in public money per year. The Mubaraks themselves have benefited massively from a web of business deals, crony-capitalist privatization schemes, and state-guaranteed investments throughout Mubarak's 30 years as president. Estimates of their wealth run from a "mere" $2-3 billion to the staggering $70 billion figure, which would make Hosni Mubarak the world's richest man. And 25 senior government officials are already under investigation for amassing fortunes above $1 billion while serving under him.
But the days may finally be over when corrupt rulers can escape with their fortunes intact. The new United Nations Convention Against Corruption explicitly calls for the return of corruptly-gained assets to the countries of origin, and Egypt's military government has already asked European Union governments to freeze Mubarak's fortune. The key question now is whether action will come fast enough: all the laws in the world won't help if the Mubarak billions are shuffled out of sight before authorities can seize them.
Our voices as citizens can help the people of Egypt make good on the promise of their revolution. Join the call for Egyptian wealth to go back to the people of Egypt:
As millions of Egyptians risked -- and even gave -- their lives for democracy, there was little that we around the world could do beyond send our hopes and solidarity. But now we have a special responsibility: to do our utmost to restore the national property stolen by a dictatorship that our own governments tolerated for far too long.
The people of Egypt are ready now to build a new nation. Let's ensure that they regain the resources that were taken from them, as they create the future that few dared to dream possible.
Ben, Alex, Ricken, Mia, Rewan, David, and the whole Avaaz team
Washington Post: "Egyptians focus their attention on recovering the nation's money"
Egypt's Mubarak Likely to Retain Vast Wealth; Mubarak Family May Have as Much as $70 Billion Stashed Away, Experts Estimate
Seize Money Stolen by Mubarak and Return it to Egypt
EU Yet To Agree Action On Egypt Asset Requests
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption