Egypt Requests Freeze of Mubarak’s Assets; Will OFAC Add Mubarak to SDN List?

Egypt requested an international freeze on the foreign assets of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his family, state television announced on Monday, according to an Associated Press report.

Security officials said that the prosecutor general asked the Foreign Ministry to contact countries around the world so they can freeze his assets abroad. The president’s domestic assets were frozen soon after he stepped down.

The Egyptian prosecutor general had previously requested the freezing of assets of former government officials and a businessman, four of which were detained last Thursday on money laundering charges. Last week, the anti-money laundering units in France and the U.S. each issued warnings to banks to be on the lookout for suspicious transactions involving Egyptian political or government figures and their families. See the Treasury’s warning here.

Switzerland, where a fraction of Mubarak’s assets are allegedly located, announced on the day of his resignation that it would investigate for and freeze anything found in his name.

The quickest way for the U.S. government to freeze Mubarak’s assets is to place him on the SDN List. In effect, Mubarak’s assets in the U.S., if any, or his assets with ties to the U.S. financial system, will be frozen immediately. Further, any U.S. person or entity, including U.S. foreign correspondent banks, will be prohibited from engaging in any transaction with Mubarak. The Treasury Department is clearly concerned about suspicious financial activity involving the former Egyptian regime, as publicized last week. This concern is a strong indication that OFAC is searching for Mubarak’s potential U.S. assets with a view towards an SDN designation.

Mubarak served as president for 30 years before 18 days of popular protests brought down his government. He is believed to be residing in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at a family villa.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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