Foreign Ministry asked embassies for help freezing ex-officials’ assets

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent several requests to embassies abroad to freeze assets belonging to former officials, the ministry announced Wednesday in a statement.

The ministry said it has referred requests from the general prosecution to embassies in Arab and Western countries, as well as to the embassies of those countries in Cairo, asking for assistance in freezing the accounts.

Earlier, Egyptian authorities had ordered the freezing of bank accounts of several ministers and businessmen following numerous reports submitted to the general prosecutor toward the end of the wide-scale protests that led to the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak.

In statements given exclusively to Al-Masry Al-Youm, a number of bank directors revealed that the days prior to the protests’ climax saw a number of businessmen transferring their bank accounts abroad. They said that businessmen's accounts at Egyptian banks were dwarfed by their assets abroad.

Britain’s business minister, Vince Cable, said on Sunday there should be an international approach to dealing with the secret overseas assets of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family.

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