Tunisia receives first retrieval of cash looted by ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali


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The Independent Online

Tunisia has received $28.8m (£18.7m) in the first retrieval of what it calls looted assets held abroad by ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family.

The state news agency TAP said a cheque in that amount had been handed to President Moncef Marzouki by Ali bin Fetais al-Marri, appointed by the UN to head efforts to recover money from leaders overthrown in Arab uprisings. TAP said the money returned to Tunisia had been in a Lebanese bank account belonging to Laila Trabelsi, the wife of Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia with his family on 14 January 2011 after popular protests ended his 23-year rule.

Local media say billions of dollars acquired corruptly by Ben Ali remain unaccounted for.