Mauritania authorities freeze assets of ex-president, continue search for more abroad

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The Mauritania authorities have frozen the assets of former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz following his arrest last month and the impending investigation into financial corruption during his ten years in office.

The ex-president was released three weeks ago and placed under surveillance by the Economic Crimes Police as the investigation continues.

The report released by the authorities revealed that “judicial authorities have also seized the former president’s property, with a total estimated value of $520,325,600 (20 billion Mauritanian ouguiya).”

“About 300 of the former president’s senior aides and his relatives were also involved in the investigation carried out by the Parliamentary Investigation Committee,” the report adds.

A bank account belonging to Abdel Aziz containing $20 million (800 million ouguiya) was also seized which he argued was from salaries accumulated during his tenure.

The investigations have also expanded beyond Mauritania’s borders as it was reported that “the judicial authorities are on their way to seize other funds of the former President deposited in foreign banks”.

Abdel Aziz seized power in 2008 and served two terms as president before being succeeded last August by Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, his close aide and former ex-defence minister.

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