European property worth €691m seized from Assad’s uncle

European property worth €691m seized from Assad’s uncle

European property worth €691m seized from Assad’s uncle

Spanish Civil Guard vehicles outside Assad family properties in Puerto Banus marina, MarbellaJORGE GUERRERO/GETTY IMAGES

The wealth of Bashar al-Assad’s extended family has been laid bare after customs officers seized properties worth a €691 million last year.

The properties, said to belong to the president’s uncle, Rifaat al-Assad and his children, were chiefly in the Paris region and Marbella. The haul ensured a record year for French customs officers who said they had seized or identified €862 million of criminal assets in 2017, up 477 per cent on the previous year.

French media outlets said the rise had been due to Rifaat al-Assad’s property empire. It included 503 properties around Marbella, ranging from parking spaces to restaurants, and an estate worth an estimated €50 million.

The newspaper Le Figaro said the portfolio was valued at €600 million. In France, officials…

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