Tunisian Investigation: Ghannouchi Receives US$30 Million in Commission for Smuggling Weapons to Libya – Al Marsad
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An investigation by a Tunisian newspaper revealed the size of the wealth acquired by the head of the Tunisian Parliament and leader of the Islamist Ennahda Movement, Rachid Ghannouchi, as he tops the list of Tunisia’s wealthiest with a fortune of at least 2,700 million Tunisian dinars. The Tunisian newspaper said the data it published was based on information recently leaked by Qatar to the Egyptian government.

(LIBYA, 27 March 2021) – The Tunisian newspaper Al-Anwar revealed that the Islamist Rachid Ghannouchi’s wealth amounted to almost $1 billion in bank deposits located mainly in Switzerland, and shares in companies outside Tunisia, including three companies in France. Ghannouchi has transformed himself from being a teacher to becoming the wealthiest person in Tunisia.

The newspaper said that this huge wealth is managed by the immediate family and relatives of Rachid Ghannouchi, including his son-in-law, former Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem.


The report said that one his sources of income, which has contributed to his wealth, was the role he plays as mediator in the smuggling of weapons to Libya, which has enabled Ghannouchi and his relatives to facilitate the passage of more than 20 arms shipments to Libya, in exchange for commissions amounting to US$30 million.


The newspaper also revealed that the leader of the Ennahda also made sizeable wealth thanks to the passport trade supervised for him by the former Secretary of State for Immigration, Houcine Jaziri. It is estimated that this trade alone achieved achieved approximately US$220 million annually for Ghannouchi.

Houcine Jaziri (far right) with Rachid Ghannouchi in France.

Additionally said the newspaper, Said Ferjani who is a leading figure in the Ennahda movement and who was in exile in London with Ghannouchi in the 1990s and is currently deputy in the Tunisian parliament—was overseeing the smuggling of these passports on behalf of the party leader.

Ennahda’s Said Ferjani


The newspaper stated that those who were buying these passports were the families of jihadis who wanted to go to fight in Syria with armed groups. The smuggling of jihadis enabled Ghannouchi and his family to make large amounts of money from this trade and exert his influence both through money and international politics.


With the revelations made by Al-Anwar newspaper, a number of prominent Tunisian politicians and media personalities have called for a full enquiry into Ghannouchi’s financial empire. Heikal el-Mekki, who is member of the Tunisian parliament for the People’s Movement, also called on the public prosecution and the National Anti-Corruption Commission to take urgent action to investigate what was revealed by the newspaper. Mekki described what was published by the Tunisian newspaper about the wealth of Ghannouchi and his family as “of a great degree of danger to the national security” of the country.



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