The public prosecutor of Egypt imposed an international travel ban on former President Hosni Mubarak and his immediate family on Monday, as well as a freeze on their Egyptian assets, as part of the first publicly announced investigation into the first family’s considerable wealth.
The move represented an escalation of government actions against the former president, who was ousted from power on Feb. 11 after weeks of public protest. Last week, Egyptian officials asked foreign countries to freeze the family’s international assets, believed to be in the millions, or even billions, of dollars.
Mr. Mubarak, 82, who has vowed to die in the country he led for 30 years, is believed to be in Sharm el-Sheik, the Red Sea resort where he has spent much of his time in recent years. But the precise locations of him and members of his family have been closely guarded secrets of the military authorities who have been in control of Egypt, along with a caretaker cabinet, since his government fell. The announcement of the investigation raises questions about the extent to which the army will be able to continue to shield him.
Omar Suleiman, the vice president whom Mr. Mubarak appointed as one of his final acts in power, has also not been heard from or seen since Feb. 11. There are widespread suspicions here that both men continue to exert some degree of authority behind the scenes.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the new order means that Mr. Mubarak; his wife, Suzanne; and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and their families cannot transfer assets or property — whether money, stocks or bonds, or holdings in banks and companies. The office of the prosecutor, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, also said they would not be permitted to leave Egypt until the conclusion of the investigation.