Foreign Ministry to hold international meeting on restoring smuggled assets

The Foreign Ministry plans to organize a three-day meeting starting Tuesday on restoring Egyptian smuggled assets and fugitives.

Officials from interior and justice ministries, the parliamentary and judicial committees on retrieving assets, the public prosecution and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will attend, along with British, US, Swiss, French, Belgium and Spanish officials with relations to the issue.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy said the meeting aims at coordinating efforts, and reviewing rules and legal measures required from those countries to retrieve looted assets and return fugitives.

Since 13 February 2011, the Foreign Ministry has been assisting the public prosecution and the judicial committee to restore the assets, Roshdy said.

Egyptian embassies inform countries in question with the Egyptian demands, he said. The Foreign Ministry also informs prosecution and justice officials with the responses of those countries and demands swift response from foreign authorities on the requests.

Roshdy also said the total number of judicial assistance requests sent by the ministry has reached 15, in addition to memorandums, other requests and court rulings. These requests included information about ousted President Hosni Mubarak, his family members, and Egyptian businessmen and their families, and sought to restore and freeze the smuggled assets.

The ministry is currently following developments of the judicial assistance requests through communications with law offices assigned by the judicial committee to restore the assets, Roshy added.

These offices are located in England, Spain, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Cyprus and France.

Roshdy said the ministry's communications with other countries over the issue showed that restoring the assets is joint process between them and Egypt. He stressed the importance of respecting laws and procedures stated at the other countries.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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