Tunisian Tycoon Marouan Mabrouk, Son-in-Law of Ex-President Ben Ali, Faces Arrest Over Alleged Embezzlement from State Firms


A Tunisian public prosecutor issued an arrest order on Tuesday for Marouan Mabrouk, one of the country’s wealthiest business magnates and son-in-law of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on suspicions of misappropriating funds from state-owned enterprises, as confirmed by a judicial source to Reuters.

It’s important to note that Mabrouk has not yet been formally charged. The specific amount of funds in question and the companies involved remain undisclosed. The government took control of these companies following the 2011 revolution that ousted Ben Ali’s autocratic regime, as part of the broader effort to seize assets belonging to the former president’s family.

The complaint about Mabrouk was submitted by the public prosecutor for state disputes, said Mohamed Zaitouna, the spokesman for Tunis court.

Mabrouk is part of an influential family with business interests in trade, banking, communications and car dealerships. Mabrouk also controls a major supermarket chain and owns shares in BIAT Bank, French telecom Orange and a biscuit company.

He is one of Ben Ali’s few relatives who did not flee Tunisia after 2011. Mabrouk, however, has faced criticism that he received support and protection from successive governments after 2011.

President Kais Saied, who seized control of the government and dissolved parliament in 2021 in a move that the opposition described as a coup, struck a committee last year to collect money from business owners involved in financial corruption cases, to reduce Tunisia’s budget deficit.

The president had said that these business owners must pay and that the state will not give up what is owed to it.