At first glance, you would think that they were sacks containing kilogrammes of grain, but in fact, they contained large sums of foreign currency worth millions of dollars. These sacks, alongside other suitcases loaded with cash, were found in the home of Sudan’s ousted leader Omar al-Bashir and he is now being investigated for money laundering, according to prosecutors.
Bashir, as of last week, was being held under tight security in solitary confinement in the Kobar prison noted for holding prisoners during his three-decade rule.
Sudan’s military, after his removal, had searched his home and found the suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and six million euros, as well as, five million Sudanese pounds, Reuters news agency reported Saturday.
“The chief public prosecutor… ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial.
“The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” a source told Reuters.
Sudan’s prosecutors have since been investigating Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of vast amounts of money without legal justification.
Years of economic struggle, dictatorship, police and military brutality and the stifling of dissent in Sudan by the Omar al-Bashir government were cut short this month after four months of protest yielded results.
Bashir, who is being sought by international prosecutors for alleged war crimes in the country’s western Darfur region, had earlier refused to step down and said his opponents should seek power through the ballot box.
After his removal, the military indicated that it would prosecute Bashir, but would not extradite him.
Bashir, including two other leaders who were arrested – former Interior Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein and Ahmed Haroun, the former head of the ruling party – will be charged with corruption and the death of protesters, sources told CNN.
The military dissolved the government and said it will oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections, but this was met with protests on the streets. The African Union has since given Sudan’s military three months to transfer power to civilian rule.
Reuters news agency reported Wednesday that Sudan’s transitional military council had directed the central bank to review financial transfers since April 1 and to seize “suspect” funds.
The council also ordered the “suspension of the transfer of ownership of any shares until further notice and for any large or suspect transfers of shares or companies to be reported” to authorities.
Meanwhile, Sudan Al-Tayyar newspaper has reported that huge secret safes belonging to the ousted president and his brothers had been seized at one of his offices. This comes days after the large sums of money were found in the deposed leader’s home.
The following video shows the large hoard of cash that was found in Bashir’s home last week: