Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to be a rich dictator- A DIY (Do It Yourself) guide by HE. Samdach Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Hun Sen

18 Feb 2011
James Thomson
BusinessSpectator (Australia)

Let’s just get this clear from the start. It is extremely unlikely that deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is worth anywhere near $70 billion and he isn’t close to being the richest person in the world.

The basis for his valuation, which has been carried across the world in various media reports, appears to emanate from an article in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which referenced “middle east experts” as having made the snap evaluation.

On closer inspection, Amaney Jamal, a political science professor at Princeton said an estimate of $40-70 billion for the Mubarak family fortune was “comparable with the vast wealth of leaders in other Gulf countries”.

But as Forbes pointed out in a blog last week, the worth of the richest ruler in the region, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, has been put at $15 billion, which is a long way from $70 billion.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Mubarak did very well out his time in charge.

Despite receiving a salary of just $808 a year, Mubarak and his family – specifically his sons Gamal and Alaa – amassed billions of dollars by establishing a system of endemic corruption.

Exactly how much they squirrelled away in banks around the world (the Swiss banking system has already frozen the Mubarak’s family assets) is unlikely to ever be revealed, but a sense of the regime’s money-making ability can be gleaned from research by Global Financial Integrity, a not-for-profit organisation that tracks illicit financial flows.

It says a staggering $57 billion flowed out of Egypt between 2000 and 2008.

Regardless of the size of his fortune Mubarak joins a long list of dictators who have become fabulously wealthy on the back of their time in power.

According to Paul Barry’s Dictator Watch on Crikey, the pack is led by former Indonesian president Suharto, who was crowned in 2004 by Transparency International as the world’s most corrupt leader, with a fortune of $35 billion.

But it should be noted that building a fortune from political rule is no mean feat. Straight-out bribes are simply too obvious and dictators instead use their far-reaching power to build up a system from which they can siphon off money at multiple points.

Here are some of the steps that dictators must take to turn an iron grip into a giant fortune.

Get long-term control

Destroying all opposition is a key plank of any dictator’s strategy, but it’s also a key part of a corrupt ruler’s money-making plans.

Building a corrupt system and moving money out of the country takes time, so the longer you can remain in power the better your chances of getting rich. Cancel elections, get friendly with the military and settle in for the long haul.

Put cronies in place

A money-making dictator needs to surround himself with people he can trust. Installing relatives in key posts is essential – Mubarak’s sons Gamal and Alaa served as the president’s key contacts with business in the latter years of the reign, with brothers-in-law and other relatives also given plum posts.

If you’re really serious about turning a buck from politics, stacking parliament with business people – a classic Mubarak trick – is a great idea.

Regulate everything

And we mean everything. The more things a government can control the more ways it can make money. In Mubarak’s Egypt for example, many businesses need a license to operate and then had to apply to get government quotas of raw materials.

An entrepreneur wanting to set up a bakery might need to pay a bribe to secure a licence and another bribe to secure a quota of wheat. As the business grew so would the bribes.

Controlling access rights and production levels in major industries is particularly important, especially in nations rich in minerals assets.

Share the wealth

Under the baker example above the bribes would go to local officials and not to Mubarak. But making sure that corruption is widespread – and that the little people get their palms greased – is essential if you want to ensure you remain in office and can pull off major deals.

Turn public assets into private wealth

The best way to raise cash is to sell stuff. And when you’re a dictator you don’t need to differentiate between your stuff and the country’s stuff – just sell whatever you want.

As Samer Soliman, a professor of political economy at American University in Cairo, told the New York Times, the key to Mubarak’s fortune was the sale of hundreds of public assets to private companies.

“The corruption of the Mubarak family was not stealing from the budget, it was transforming political capital into private capital,” Soliman says.

Mubarak’s privatisation campaign began in the 1990s with the goal of selling 314 companies.

According to a report from a USAID-sponsored monitoring program, by June 2002 there were 190 state assets owned. The program paused during the GFC and was stopped in 2010, when there were 149 companies still under state control, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Mubarak family and its cronies made money from privatisation, selling assets in sweetheart deals with mainly foreign business people.

A great example is a company called Tanta Flax & Oils Company, which was acquired by Saudi investor Abdellah El-Ka’aky in 2005.

The price was just $14 million, but Egyptian labour expert Mostafa Bassiouni told local newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm the business was actually valued at more than $500 million.

In some cases the assets were sold lock, stock and barrel to foreign investors – with appropriate “facilitation” payments no doubt extracted from the buyers.

In other cases the buyer was forced to take on an Egyptian joint venture partner who would take a stake between 20 per cent and 50 per cent.

According to reports, Mubarak had interests in many of those Egyptian-partner businesses, thereby completing the transfer of public assets into his private wealth.

Stash the loot

The Mubaraks are said to have favoured parking profits in property in London, New York and Paris, and in foreign bank accounts. Suharto liked art and jewels.

Personally I’d lean towards gold bars, which are universally accepted, hold their value and best of all are handily portable if you have to flee into exile.

Beware the backlash

The protests against Mubarak were mainly focused on bringing democracy to Egypt, although it could be argued that they had their origins in a long series of protests against the privatisation program.

In March 2010, almost 12 months before Mubarak’s departure, Al-Masry Al-Youm said more than 1.7 million workers had engaged in more than 1900 strikes between 2004 and 2008.

Protests started at Tanta Flax & Oils in February and sparked a series of protests that forced the government to can the program in mid 2010.

In hindsight that’s when Mubarak should have taken his cue to pull the plug.

Imagine how much more cash he could have taken with him.


Anonymous said...

Why do Kos Trol, sea and lands proximately over 10 000 km2 have been lost to Vietnam by who treaty? Why don’t Cambodia goverment transparencies explain to Cambodia army at front line and the whole nation about this? Why don't they include this into education system? Why?

Cambodian armies are fighting at front line for 4.6 km2 and what's about over 10 000km2 of Cambodia to Vietnam. Nobody dare to talk about it! Why? Cambodian armies you are decide the fate of your nation, Cambodian army as well as Cambodian people must rethink about this again and again. Is it fair?

Kos Trol, Sea and lands over 10 000km2 have been lost to Vietnam by who treaty at 1979 to 1985 treaty! Treaty! Cambodian army at front line as well as all Cambodian people must rethink again about these issues. Are Cambodian army fighting to protect the Cambodia Nation or protect a very small group that own big lands, big properties or only protecting a small group rather in the real name of protecting Khmer nation?

Cambodian army at front line suffer under rain, wind, bullets, bombs, lack of foods, lack of nutrition, their families have no health care help, no securities after they die but a very small group eat well, sleep well, sleep in first class hotel with air conditioning with young girls message, have super health care from oversea medical treatment, they are billionaires, millionaires who sell out the country to be rich and make Cambodian people suffer everyday as Cambodian people know already.

Who signed the treaty 1979-1985 that result lost over 10 000 km2 of Cambodia??? Why don't they transparency inform all Cambodian and Cambodian army at front line about these issues? Why don't include Kos Trol (Kos Trol size is bigger than the whole Phom Phen with heap of great natural resources) in education system in Cambodia.

Look at Hun Sen families, relatives; friends are billionaires, millionaires where do they get the money from if we all just get out of war with empty hands? Hun Sen always say in his speech Cambodia just get up from war, just get up from Zero with empty hands and how come they are billionaires, millionaires but 90% innocent Cambodian people are so poor struggling with living every day.

Khmer girl Ms. Rattana Keo,

Anonymous said...

1:13 Pm

We know the background of Smart Khmer Girl or Khmer Girl. She or he is just a "Thai Girl or Gay"

Another new Thai trick protected Abhishit and the Thai interest.

Anonymous said...

Not every dicktator wants to be a doctor except ah kwack and his whore! Not every son of a dictator wants to be a general except ah kwack's sons!

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen is said to have lost $800 million when thailand froze thaksin's assets lately? This source is from his close ring. Can anyone confirm this? Even Hun sen or his family are welcomed to confirm. But don't lie bcoz the asset is part Cambodian people.

Anonymous said...

សូមឲ្យខ្មែរគ្រប់និន្នាការទាំងអស់ ភ្ញាក់ខ្លួនឡើង សាមគ្គីគ្នាឡើង ប្រឆាំងនិង ពួកអាឆ្កែកញ្ជះយួន ហ៊ុន សែន,
ហេងសំ រិន, ជាស៊ីម, សុខ អាន, ហោ ណាំហុង, ឱម យ៉ិនទៀង, ចៀម យីប, វ៉ា គិម ហុង, ស ខេង, ងួន ញ៉ឹល ។ល។ និង ។ល។
វ៉ៃបណ្តេញឱ្យពួកវាដួលរលំរត់ទៅចៅហ្វាយរបស់វានៅ ហាណូយ ដែលជាប្រទេសម៉ែ ឪទី២របស់ពួកវា។

យើងខ្មែរទូទាំងប្រទេស យកគំរូពី ប្រទេសទុយនេហ្ស៊ី
ទៅ ប្រទេសអេហ្ស៊ីបជាគំរូ...!

Anonymous said...

Khmer politicians use opportunity to rich. Eg Mr. Kong Vibol who was an undie sextary of state ministry of finance. He defected from Funcinpec to cpp.

In Australia he was unemployed and went to cambodia to politics. His is now rich. He owns business and properties in melbourne with corruption.

Can anyone give another example.

Come on be transparent!

Anonymous said...


What Ms. Rattana Keo said are true about Cambodia from 1979 to now,.. OK! Face the real true boys about Cambodia

Anonymous said...

How much does Hun Sen's head cost?
does any body know - where are they?

Anonymous said...

Worth nothing to me

Anonymous said...

Ah kbort cheat Hun Sen's Head cost
360 pieces. And It staying in tang krasang compound.

Anonymous said...

Unlike dictatorship of Tunisie, Egyp and other countries, all hun Sen fortunes have to share with Vietnam for installing him as Cambodian Prime Minister. Therefore not only giving lands to vietnam, but many Cambodian profitable entreprises such as petrol, oil well, timbers, minerals, harbour and Angkor wat, Vietnam must have to take all income from there and also Hun sen himself must pay Vietnam each year billions of dollars to keep him as Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Hun Sen owe me money HE IS A SON OF B***H. His son HUN MANET have sex with 10 virgins every night. HE IS GOING TO DEFLOWER THE WHOLE NATION AFTER HIS LIFE TIME...





Anonymous said...


The political uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt now in Bahrain, Libya, Tehran and Yemen what they mean for the rest of the Dictators in world?

It seems the Tunisia "H1N1" is speading everywhere in the world; even Cambodia start to permeate
and very soon Cambodian will be push to the Maximum CHAOS!
The Revolt will sweep across the Khmer nation to oust viet dogs.

My Khmer Compatriots, Khmer must struggles for RENEWAL, CHANGE and FREEDOM.

You don't have other choice, but to organise an Armed Uprising right now to against these Hanoi's Puppet Hun Sen's families and it cronies.

All of you are in a loose-loose situation by Legal Means.
Freedom will never fall from the Sky. You have to fight to get that.
Hun Sen and Hanoi will continue to oppress you and confiscate your lands for their vietnamese bosses and their own interessts.

And how many Vietnamese illegal immigrants in Cambodia now ??? there are 6-7 million of them and over 100,000 in armed camouflage inside the government and plus 1 soldier per (ha) of rubber plantation.
The Hanoi's Vietnamisation is step by step and almost finished to their goal.

All of you will be Hanoi's slaves on your ancestors Lands very soon.
They cannot kill all of you in all Sroks and all Provinces, otherwise the whole world will step in to help liberate you from this mess of political CHAOS.

I called to Khmer compatriots to rise up with Axes, Swords, Sticks, Knives, Spears, Arrows, and possible grenades, B40-B41 hand Guns, shot guns to riot and kill THEM for your Freedom and liberate your country from the vietnamese yoke.

Anonymous said...

When the products of Gas, oil, gold and titanium come Hun Sen will reach soon 50 billlions in his konte. And the poor Khmer are still like they were. The sadness of Khmers in 21th century.

Anonymous said...

What the meaning of dictators in the world?

The answer is easy:
All of them must destroyed in 21th century.

Anonymous said...

Thank to James Thomson for bringing
up,how dictators made money to be a
Billionaire faster
than businessmen or
women in the world.
All dictators or
feudal monarchies
made money from sucking blood,sweat
from big companies,
state stuffs,oils,
Hun Sen is one of them who is making
dirty money from anywhere inside or
outside the country.
These three dictators are greedy
money and power.
So,Khmer people rise
up against a dictator Viet dog.
The time is in your side;lost money you can be regained,
but lost time lost forever.
Please,dare to die for FREEDOM,COUNTRY,