Money mules and the former Tunisian president’s assets are covered by this “Asset Search News Roundup”:

  1. The Washington Post and FDIC previously outlined how some money launderers pretended to be employers to basically induce their so-called “employees” to wire transfer illicit funds as straw men.  These straw men commonly called money mules, were also just mentioned at a February 3rd article.  The February 3rd article reveals that the financial accounts of the money mule “employees” were used by the launderers to transfer illicit funds from phishing or other frauds.
  2. As a suspected kleptocrat, Tunisia’s Former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali could be the target of global asset forfeiture.  A Reuters’ video reports that Mr. Ben Ali’s family is thought to have possibly diverted $66 million in gold from Tunisia to Switzerland.  These corruption allegations may have caused the Swiss freeze of Mr. Ben Ali’s assets via a January 19th “Ordinance on Measures Against Certain Individuals from Tunisia“.  The January 19th ordinance is characterized at one press release as a “rapid precautionary freeze of funds” in anticipation of possible criminal proceedings.  The BBC meanwhile says that the European Union has implemented its own measure to freeze the assets of 46 allies and relatives of Mr. Ben Ali.  According to, the European Union measure could have already led to a freeze of Ben Ali’s financial accounts and other assets in Frankfurt, Germany.

Copyright 2011 Fred L. Abrams