More than two years after Egypt’s revolution, the country’s hunt for stolen assets is faltering. What started as an overly optimistic hunt for the former president’s ill-gotten gains with estimates as high as $70 billion, has evaporated to reveal the value of assets identified and frozen by foreign governments is disappointingly small and at little more than $1 bilion today.
Now the nation is at a critical juncture: either it jumpstarts its lifeless investigations or it strikes deals with members of the old regime.
Either way, it is not looking good for Egypt.
Farah Halime, the editor of Rebel Economy, spoke to Ashraf Khalil, TIME magazine’s Cairo correspondent and Bradley Hope, The National newspaper’s Cairo bureau chief, who have both conducted their own intense investigations into Egypt’s asset recovery efforts.
Neither are optimistic. Ashraf says Egypt’s prosecutor’s office is “unfixable”, while Bradley describes the antiquated offices of the Illicit Gains Authority.
Special thanks to Cairo-based radio journalist Merrit Kennedy, who produced this podcast.