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Tracking down the Ben Ali and Trabelsi fortune

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. B

    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    BBC News

    No-one can say exactly how much Mr Ben Ali, his second wife Leila Trabelsi, and a sprawling network of relatives, had to their names.

    But it was a financial empire that reached far and wide, and is now the subject of a multi-pronged international investigation.

    "Our Tunisian lawyer friends tell us that the Ben Ali and Trabelsi families controlled between 30% and 40% of the Tunisian economy," said Daniel Lebegue, head of the French branch of Transparency International.

    "So a simple calculation allows us to say we're looking at about $10bn (£6bn)."
    "The number of assets held by relatives within these clans was significant in all sectors of the economy: banks, insurance, distribution, transport, tourism, property."

    The families built this vast network, activists allege, by wielding the power of an authoritarian state.

    Leila Trabelsi, a former hairdresser who married Mr Ben Ali five years after he came to power (but still commonly known by her maiden name), was seen as particularly effective at enriching relatives with lucrative holdings.

    "They bled the country systematically," says Nicolas Beau, co-author of the Regent of Carthage, a book about Leila Trabelsi that has only appeared in Tunisian shops since she and her husband fled the country on 14 January.

    "There was a climate of fear and terror, so when people from the clan required Tunisians to give up their houses or land, they normally obeyed."

    Popular loathing had a lot to do with the fact that their names were synonymous with intimidation and corruption.

    During those protests, businesses and shops linked to the family were singled out.
    Once Mr Ben Ali was toppled, cars imported by his son-in-law were smashed and demonstrators ransacked the family's opulent villas.

    The former opposition - some of whom have been included in Tunisia's interim government - now want to recover ill-gotten gains.

    Thirty-three Ben Ali or Trabelsi family members have been arrested and Tunisian authorities have requested the arrest of Mr Ben Ali and six other fugitives through the international police agency, Interpol.
  2. Richard

    Richard JF-Expert Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    It is very absurd to see these kind of people doing these wierd things.

    Ben Ali's brother -in -law has claimed asylum in Canada and Canadian authorities has told him to surrender any assets he has wether accounts or properties. They were able to bulid a financial empire without problem in front of their own brothers and sisters.

    Interpol is looking for Ben Ali's brother in Montreal Canada. The deposed Tunisian president's brother in law was reputed to have arrived in Montreal last week accompanied by his wife four children and a nanny. Ben Ali removed himself from the head of the Tunisian government in what has become known as the Jasmine Revolution. He fled to Saudi Arabia, but allegations of corruption and repression of citizens.

    Since then the interim government has arrested members of Ben Ali's family and sought to freeze Swiss bank accounts belonging to them.

    Belhassen Trabelsi arrived in Canada last week aboard his private plane. He is reputed to be a billionaire with widespread financial investments. His wife is rumoured to have brought in a quantity of gold bars.

    Even though the Tunisian authorities have issued an arrest warrent for Trabelsi and his wife, they may be staying in Canada for a long time yet. They are legal residents of the country and have been since the '90s. Until the bureaucratic wheels turn, no movement to send him or his family back to Tunisia will be made.

    Even if he and his wife have violated the terms of residency, they may still claim refugee status. The hearings and adjudications for that would probably take years to sort out.

    Leila trabelsi fled the country with £35 million worth of gold and she was compared with Imelda Marcos then Philipines first lady for her lavish lifesytle.

    Her despised extended family, known as “The Mafia”, exerted a £3.5 billion stranglehold on business, construction and foreign investment, routinely jetting across continents for jollies.

    It hard to predict when this kind of lunacy will end in our continent.
  3. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    LoL! Mimi najiuliza tu- utajiri wote wa nini kudhulumu watu wakati duniani hapa tunaishi tu miaka 70 ao 80???????????
  4. mfianchi

    mfianchi JF-Expert Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    Hivi M7 kakaa madarakani miaka mingapi vile na ana mipesa kiasi gani.Hakuna mtu wa kulianzisha huko? tatizo sisi waafrika tunaogopa sana kifo,hao waarabu wameshazoe kujilipua,naomba tukitoka kwa M7 tupitia kidogo bongo halafu tukampe hi babu Muga pale Harare na tuendelea kwa wale wanaojifanya wamarekani weusi machotara wa Luanda kwa Santos
  5. Richard

    Richard JF-Expert Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    Canada never supported the dictator. Him and other family members were found out to be holding Canadian residence cards.

    Tunisia has urged Canadian authorities to arrest him. Reports say Ottawa has already revoked the billionaire's permanent residency status, saying Tunisia's former ruling clan is not welcome in the country. He was welcome there 2 weeks ago.

    But apparently they found out efter 30 years he was a bad guy? USA, Canada and EU should get a lesson for being too friendly.