UK to form team to repatriate Egyptian funds

Britain is forming a team from several government departments to push efforts to freeze funds that were transferred abroad by members of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime, a source at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Thursday.

The source added that, according to the European penal system, Britain cannot comment on the amount of the funds.

The source pointed out that an agreement on exchange of information was signed with Egypt, and that Britain appointed a representative of the public prosecutor to cooperate with the Egyptian authorities in this regard.

Britain entrusted a private lawyer to provide technical advice, the source added, and the British government is reviewing the laws in order to ensure they are commensurate with any steps taken, stressing that this would take time, as British law makes it difficult to trace funds. The source assured that the problem would ultimately be resolved.

In early September, Assem al-Gohary, then-head of the Illicit Gains Authority, said Egypt had filed a lawsuit against the British Treasury to compel the institution to cooperate in returning funds siphoned out of Egypt by former regime officials.

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