My son profited from Egypt’s debts
Due to the corruption of the superiors, it is difficult to find legal documents to use against them. However, their confession is one way of holding a case, and that’s the best weapon.
Referring to the constitution, it forbids the president to practice any trading using his position as an aid. Is it legal then for the president’s son to take advantage of his father’s presidency and make profit out of Egypt’s economical crises? In which the president himself is responsible in creating it. In another word, the father puts Egypt in debt and the son profits out of this debt, by making deals with the foreigners and buys it off them. Then resell it again to Egypt.
The question is who exposed this? It is Hosny Mubarak himself and I did state this fact many times in my previous articles. As I got hold of Mubarak’s confession, though this confession is not recent but it’s worth revealing. Nothing could stop this incident to happen, neither now nor later, concerning Egypt or any other similar issue.
Almusawar magazine stated in its 3598 issue in 24 September 1993 page 13, Mubarak ’s interview with Makrem Mohamed Ahmed, chief editor of Almusawar magazine the following:
“Editor: Mr. President, a while ago there was a rumor over a game the president’s son is actually taking part in. Is he working in a bank in London to buy Egypt’s debts?
President: This is not a rumor. My son, Gamal did actually take part with other members of the bank that he works for. They negotiated with China and the bank to buy old Egyptian debt. The debt was 180 million dollars. The bank had its relations in China. The debt was offered to the Chinese government to buy it with a considerable discount; so, it would be resold to the Egyptians. The bank asked my son to travel, not because he is the president’ son, but because he worked within the investment directors in which traveling is one of its duties. Gamal asked me if he could join in this sort of negotiation. My answer was why not this serves our nation. He did travel accompanied by his colleagues and negotiated the Chinese government to buy the debt. It was worth 189 million dollars. They bought it half its worth and may be more, in favour of the bank. Gamal was highly skilled negotiator, the bank certified this fact. The bank rewarded him and gave him 90 thousand dollars without the interest, and gave his manager 300 thousand dollar.
Mr. president: what would a bank do with the debt they bought?
The president: it is resold again to Egyptian citizens once the Egyptian Central Bank approved it. The Central Bank gets a commission or interest in return. Egyptian Central Bank encourages this act because it helps reducing Egypt’s debts. The debts are usually bought half what it cost; the Central Bank is the one responsible to put rules and regulation and monitors the process.
Mr. president: what is the size of the debt that was sold this way to the Egyptians who in turn bought it from foreign banks?
The president: 1.1 billion dollars. All the debts were sold to Egyptians with the bank approval and monitoring, except 300 million dollars.”
There are points to consider concerning this incident:
1- Article 81 of the constitution reads:
It is not permissible for a president, during his service, to practice any profession whether it is trading, financing, or industrial; or to buy, or to lease any using country’s fund or to sell or lease the country any of his own or exchange upon it.
Presidents’ sons are also are not to be overlooked by this point of the constitution especially when free business is concerned, which deals with the debts of Egypt at the time of the father is serving as the president.
2- Gamal Mubarak worked with the Bank of American, London branch. It’s a large bank and he works to manage investments. Weren’t there any other personnel at the directing board to carry out the matter that concerned Egypt? On the other hand, president Mubarak revealed during the interview, that Gamal wasn’t obligated to travel, and Gamal asked his father his opinion and the father considered his son’s age, thirty at the time, and how embarrassed he was to get involved in a matter as such. The fact was that his father encouraged Gamal as if the matter is serving the country. What a national service to earn 90,000 dollars in one hit. Mubarak justified that by saying his son is very skillful in negotiation. This in turn depict that Bank of American with all its fame, wouldn’t have coped without Gamal. Didn’t china realize that it was paying a courtesy to the Egyptian president! China may have compensated with other things. With due respect, china offered financial to George Bush family during the election.
3- I wrote in previous articles that a president of country, as large as Egypt, shouldn’t permit his son to work in a foreign bank neither outside the Egyptian territories nor inside. The bank is large and belongs to a great country that has business with Egypt. The president should have been aware of this matter and kept his son’s connections inside Egypt so he would avoid any foreign clashes, as well as keep his financial business untangled with foreign countries. But for him to trade with Egypt debts is unspeakable.
4- Mubarak didn’t narrate the rest of the story, the part which covers the son’s big role in reselling the debt to Egypt. Some debt belongs entirely to Egypt and enables the country to buy with the costs of the debt. In cases like this one, no beneficiaries but the brokers like his son and friends. The matter requires some amendment with the central bank statements, especially when the debt exceeded the amount mentioned earlier 1.1 billion dollars. In addition, some of Gamal’s friends, were his partners, hold important positions in Egyptian banks that empower them to control the economy as well as the ministries of Egypt. All the required documents are at the Egyptian Central Bank which could reveal the whole story. But who is courageous enough in the current era to carry on the investigation! Or we may have to wait till this era comes to an end.
5- According to Mubarak, the father, we may ask that: is it possible for the president son to make profit trading with Egypt’s debts? The debts that drowned Egypt due to his father’s policy?
6- It is funny how this statement was published by Makrem Mohammed Ahmed by mistake. Mubarak, the father mentioned to one of the parties’ president that he spoke to Mukarem about this subject off the record, not to be published, but Makrem published it!
Magdy Ahmed Hussein
Translation by: Zainab K. H