Ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali has $1.5 billion in private bank accounts

Published January 18th, 2011 - 08:56 GMT
Ben Ali
Ben Ali

The dramatic events in Tunisia through the end of the week have shocked many in the Arab world, especially since the regime of ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali appeared stable until the moment of the outbreak of riots at the end of last month. 

The frustration and despair felt by the Tunisian people were not created in December 2010. The rumors about corruption and bribery among the inner circle of the 74 year old president have been circulated for years. 

Many reports have talked about Traboulsi family of the president's wife, Leila, who took control of many key state properties and assets in Tunisia , including an airline, a radio station, car factory, Ford agency, real estate and others in the Tunis area, while the family of Ben Ali took over properties in the coastal area. 

It is worth mentioning that American diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks there were details about the wealth of the presidential family. They also pointed to the fact that the president's wife, Leila, before marrying him in 1992, was working as an hairdresser suiting her origin from an uneducated family. But since becoming Tunisia 's First Lady, the wealth began to stick to many of her family members. 

So, many stories were written about corruption and the luxury life of the ruling family. But the question that presents itself today in Tunisia and abroad is what is the real value of money collected by the ousted Tunisian president over the years. These financial resources belong to the Tunisian people. 

After consulting with European banking sources, Nuqudy.com analysts are able to shed light on the value of personal wealth owned by the ousted president despite the difficulties in accessing this information at this point. Based on our initial calculations, the value of funds deposited in Ben Ali's bank accounts abroad amounts to some US$ 1.5 billion. This preliminary estimate is referring only to the cash in the accounts of the ousted president and does not include assets and other properties, which worth billions of dollars, and are owned by his family, Trabulsi family and other close aides. 

Nuqudy.com analysts stress that only after a thorough examination of all the companies and properties owned by Trabulsi family, if this is ever possible, one can estimate the total wealth of the ousted Tunisian president, who took refuge in Saudi Arabia .

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