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Egypt freezes Mubarak's fortunes

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Egypt is moving to freeze the considerable assets of fomer president Hosni Mubarak

Egypt is moving to freeze the considerable assets of fomer president Hosni Mubarak

Egypt is moving to freeze the considerable assets of fomer president Hosni Mubarak

Egypt has moved to freeze the vast fortunes amassed by overthrown president Hosni Mubarak.

The country's top prosecutor has told the foreign minister to ask other nations to freeze any assets abroad.

The freeze applies to Mubarak, his wife, his two sons and two daughters-in-law.

The former president is believed to currently be living in his estate at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egypt has so far asked for asset freezes for one top Egyptian businessman and former ruling party official, as well as four former cabinet ministers, and imposed travel bans on them.

The family's wealth - speculation has put it at anywhere from £616 million to 430 billion) - has come under growing scrutiny since Mubarak's removal from office on February 11.

Watchdog groups say that under Mubarak, top officials and tycoons were given preferential treatment in land contracts, allowed to buy state industries at a fraction of their value during Egypt's privatisation process launched in the early 1990s, and got other perks that enabled them to increase their wealth.

The perks came at a price - and the Mubaraks were major beneficiaries.

The most prominent symbol of their presumed fortune that has surfaced was a townhouse in London's Knightsbridge district, which is listed to Gamal Mubarak and where he was said to have lived while working as an investment banker in the early 1990s.

The house has become a focal point for many in Egypt as foreign governments begin to either enact, or consider imposing, freezes on their assets.

PA