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    A member of the Alawite community pastes on a wall, in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli 06 December 2007, pictures of Syrian opposition leader Rifaat al-Assad (R) and his son Ribal

    France Reportedly Seizes Bashar Assad's Uncle's Property Worth 691 Million Euros

    © AFP 2018 / RAMZI HAIDAR
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    An investigation into Rifaat Assad, the Syrian president's uncle, has been underway since April 2016 following his alleged purchase of property worth $100 million, including a stud farm and luxury apartments. In June, French prosecutors charged him with corruption. Later, the property was seized.

    French customs officials together with colleagues from Spain have confiscated property worth about 691 million euros, owned by Rifaat Assad — the uncle of the incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad and his entourage, the newspaper Figaro reports.

    According to the publication, the authorities seized more than 500 properties, including in the area of the resort town of Marbella in Spain, among them a mansion, country houses, apartments and a restaurant.

    READ MORE: Assad Calls France 'Terror Sponsor,' Macron Punches Back

    French President Emmanuel Macron stands on the steps of the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 16, 2017
    © REUTERS / Christian Hartmann/File Photo
    In 2017 French customs confiscated 862 million worth of criminal assets, including jewelry, cars, real estate and racehorses. It is noted that this was 477% more than in 2016.

    Rifat Assad is the brother of Bashar Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad who served as Syrian president from 1971 to 2000. He was expelled from the country after an attempted coup in 1983. A preliminary inquiry into the case of the President of Syria's uncle began in September 2013 after two French public organizations — Transparency International France and Sherpa — sued him in court. The object that initiated the litigation was the French property of a relative of the Syrian leader.

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    property, Rifaat Assad, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Spain, France
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