Failed Recovery

How Switzerland released the Funds of a Famous Egyptian Crony

A report by Public Eye and EIPR, October 2017. Downloadable in English and in Arabic. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, in 2011, Switzerland froze 700 million Swiss francs belonging to former Egyptian president Mubarak and his entourage. The move raised huge expectations among the Egyptian population that this money would be quickly seized and returned to their country. But six years later, this high profile asset recovery case has produced almost nothing. In 2016, Swiss authorities released a significant part of the frozen Egyptian money – and more will probably follow.

Using new information, this report reconstructs the story of the asset recovery process in Switzerland and Egypt following Mubarak’s ouster. It provides a case study to examine the difficulties that might arise in any asset recovery process and to learn the lessons.