Strongman Hosni Mubarak is laughing all the way to the casbank.
The most hated man in Egypt, where anti-government protests rages on, is likely the richest man in the world, a bombshell report reveals.
The teetering tyrant’s family fortune is worth about $70 billion — stashed away in Swiss and other foreign bank accounts and shadowy real-estate holdings in Manhattan, London and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the Guardian newspaper reports.
That puts the 82-year-old despot comfortably ahead of Mexican business magnate and New York Times sugar daddy Carlos Slim Helu, who’s worth about $53.5 billion, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the richest American with $53 billion, according to a list of the world’s richest men by Forbes.com.
And that golden nest egg has the Arab world seeing red.
“Mubarak! This is not your money. You must return back every penny to Egypt,” a poster named Hassan commented on the Web site of PressTV, a Mideast-based broadcast.
“Leaders in the Arab world are the richest men in the world, while their people are poor and oppressed. The only peace is knowing these people will face justice when they meet Allah,” added Nazir, another poster.
The whereabouts of Mubarak’s properties in New York are shrouded in secrecy. Neither the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, DC, nor the consulate in New York would shed any light yesterday.
But the dictator’s three decades of iron-fist rule as president put him in a perfect spot to get a piece of any government action, with the profits he skimmed quickly deposited in secret bank accounts or invested in luxury homes and hotels.
“There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain. This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators,” Princeton political- science professor Amaney Jamal told ABC News. “This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition.”
(Source: NY Post)