Enlisted: The Middle Eastern figures engaged in the Credit Suisse leaks

BERN (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The release of information on thousands of accounts with the Swiss banking company Credit Suisse by a whistleblower has once again engulfed a slew of Middle Eastern politicians in a big controversy involving hoarded money.

A number of media outlets were given details of the company’s “immoral” actions, as the whistleblower called it, revealing customers involved in torture, money laundering drug trafficking, and corruption, among other things.

In reaction to the leak, Credit Suisse stated that it “strongly rejects the claims and inferences concerning the bank’s purported business procedures.”

The data revealed around 18,000 bank accounts that had been opened over decades and packed with hundreds of millions of francs.

Middle East Eye has looked into the regional figures that have been identified as account owners as a result of the new probe.

Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania

According to the leaked data, Jordan’s governing couple were avid Credit Suisse customers. Since 2011, Abdullah has had at least six accounts with the bank, and his wife Rania has had at least one account.

While one account was worth a minimum of 30 million Swiss francs ($32.78 million), the other account of Rania was worth at least 39.1 million Swiss francs ($42.66 million).

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, the sons of late Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed as a result of Egyptian revolution in 2011, had a Credit Suisse account balance of about 277 million Swiss francs ($302 million).

One account purportedly connected to Alaa had acquired 232 million Swiss francs (about $253 million) by the year 2010.

Omar Suleiman 

Mubarak’s controversial former intelligence head, Omar Suleiman, in the year 2003 opened a joint account with Credit Suisse, with a balance of $52 million a few years later and which was active until he died. Between 1996 and 2005, another account was active.

Suleiman, who passed in 2012, was known for ordering the torture of political opponents. Just before Mubarak’s ouster, he was chosen vice president of Egypt.

Rifai, Samir

The name of Jordan’s previous prime minister, Samir Rifai, who resigned in 2011 after anti-government rallies, was another name on the list. 

Rifai, who has been accused of corruption by democratic campaigners on numerous occasions, told OCCRP that he could “absolutely, indisputably, and utterly” rule out any illicit sources for the funds in the accounts, some of which he shared with family members.

He said the funds in one account, which had a maximum balance of almost 12 million Swiss francs ($13.1 million), belonged to his wife.

Khaddam, Abdul Halim

Khaddam served in a variety of capacities in Syria during the reign of longstanding President Hafez al-Assad, whose iron-fisted regime witnessed widespread use of state violence and torture to suppress dissent, as well as massive corruption.

According to the data breach, he held a Swiss bank account with a highest balance of 89.7 million Swiss francs ($98 million) between 1994 and 2006.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said 

When he died in 2020, the Sultan of Oman, the region’s longest-serving sovereign of the region, held two Credit Suisse accounts, one containing almost $126 million in 2003 and the other $57 million in 2015.

Salem Hussein

Another of close acquaintances of Mubarak, an Egyptian businessman, had multiple accounts with Credit Suisse, one of which held assets worth 105 million Swiss francs ($79.3 million) in 2003.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.