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.