Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mubarak’s Entourage : A Man called Hussein Salem

This post was originally written in 2009 , last time I edited it was on August 9,2009 to be accurate but I could not publish it for fear to find myself dragged to God knows out. It was a promise I made it to myself that whenever Mubarak was downed , I would publish this post. This was from the posts that I felt so sad and so coward not to publish.
Hussein Salem
I talked about the god father of Sharm El-Sheikh in my blog I think twice; only mentioning his names in what I can consider unpleasant situations, the first one as the exporter of the natural gas to Israel with the lowest prices ever who deserved to be prosecuted and the second time as the owner of Egypt’s SS Poseidon aka Salem express. Still I did not know actually who that man is or was, how he became one of Mubarak’s era businessmen icons, how he formed this huge economic empire in tourism mainly and having at the same time a low profile in the media is enigma. Already this man’s name or his companies are rarely mentioned in Egypt despite he was well known abroad.
According to the sources I found Hussein Kamal El- Din Ibrahim Salem was born in 1928; he is said to be from a native Sinai origin “Update in 2011: he is said to be from Aswan” and that’s why he is said to be popular among the tribes in Sinai. It is said that he used to work as an intelligence officer before the Six days war 1967 and before that he was a pilot. His Friendship with Mubarak goes back to1960s. He is considered the god father of Sharm El-Sheikh, he built the first Mosque El-Salam there and he even got a street named after him in the city where most of the streets are named after presidents and kings. But do not be surprised, already he was from the early investors there. He was for sure an entrepreneur who had a vision and high expectation for this desert area and that is why he founded the first water company there. He founded HSK group in 1977 as Real Estates Investment Company and this shows that the man started from a long time since the era of President Sadat.
His name had been unknown publicly in Egypt until year 1987, when the famous Bob Woodward published his book “Veil” and claimed in it directly that in 1970s Hosni Mubarak , ” Mounir Thabat “Mubarak’s brother in law”, Abd Halim Abu Ghazlaminister of defense then and before it he was our military attaché in D.C ” and Hussein Salem founded a company in Paris called “The White wings” {Les Ailes Blanches} .This silly named company mission was to import arms to Egypt. The public in Egypt heard about the book when MP and Free officers vet. Alwi Hafez raised the topic in the parliament in 1987. Needless to say that Hafez did not continue in the parliament after that!! General Abu Ghazla denied what was mentioned in the Woodward’s book saying that it was total fiction. Unfortunately this fiction and the shadow role of Salem in arms deals was mentioned frequently in the American books for instance in Peter Maas’ Manhunt: The incredible Pursuit of a CIA agent turned in to a terrorist in pages 139 and 224 [Published in 1987 also], Joseph J. Trento‘s prelude to Terror in year 2005, in economic books like 1989’s inside job where his name was mentioned ,even in fictional military novels he inspired authors like Lindsay McKenna to include him and Abu Ghazla in her CIA miniseries adventure “An Honorable woman” !! Both men were mentioned in the first chapter or mini story in the book “The incredible pursuit of CIA Agent” which is based upon the true story mentioned in Peter Maas’ Manhunt about the former CIA officer Edwin Wilson, I think that this means one thing, Hussein K. Salem aka in the American espionage literature was involved heavily in Wilson’s case, well actually he was.

 Mr. Salem was Wilson’s Egyptian partner in Egyptian American Transport Company AKA EATSCO which according to some sources in the U.S of course obtained exclusive and highly lucrative Pentagon contracts to ship U.S arms in the U.S The company was formed in 1979 and was ended in 1983 after a financial scandal. The other partners in this company were the famous blond ghost Theodore Shackley, Richard Secord and Erich Von Marbod who was the deputy director of security assistance agency in the Pentagon. Those American partners were indicted for $ 8 million in billing abuses to the Government. Of course it is worth to say that Secord after his retirement from the Pentagon because of this financial scandal started another company called IRANSCO in order to ship arms to Iran with Wilson and guess what?? Our old friend Ashraf Marwan was involved in this one!!
FYI historically in time of Nasser there were men profiting a lot from the shady arms deals between Egypt and the ex-U.S.S.R , this is something well known in the world of arms supply across the world and especially in the third world countries. It is not something new or invented in time of Sadat or Mubarak.
In 1991 Salem made the headlines when his ferry sunk to the red sea and on its board unofficially 1400 person, officially this number was about 600. Time made people forget.
Yet again he made again the headlines in the independent and opposition newspapers with his partnership with the Israelis in Egypt’s infamous Midor, the famous Oil refinery company. He faced and is still facing a lot of criticism because of it. In 1999 he founded a company called “East Mediterranean Gas Co” {EMG} with Israeli group Mehrav and the Egyptian government. Mehrav owns 25% of the shares; the Egyptian government owns 10% while the rest is or was owned by Hussein Salem group.
clip_image002The public criticism turned in to anger when the private energy consortium EMG had a contract initially for 15 years guaranteeing a supply of 1.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year at the price of $1.5 per million BTU to the Israeli electric corporation. I do not know if the Merhrav group’s CEO is still former Mossad agent Youssi or Youssef Maiman or not but for sure if he is still the CEO, it will be interesting enough!! Maiman owns newspapers and a TV channel in Israel “Ch.10” in a partnership with global media mogul Robert Murdoch. Maiman is said to have an eye on the TAPI gas pipeline and the gas of Turkmenistan. Of course I bet he is sticking to the Egyptian gas because it is a real bargain.
Strangely in last October 2008 in exclusive and rare statements to Al Masry Al Youm, Salem said that he sold his shares to famous American Oil Company and the Petroleum authority of Thailand!!!?? The man continued and said that he was a man in his 70s and needed to rest. Yet again the government comes and says that he still owns the majority of the shares in EMG!!
Well according to the news reports, he really retired and left his empire to his offspring Magda and Khalid. His children like him keeping a low profile in the media. I barely found this interview for his son Khaled in Arabic for Saudi Al Sharq Al Awsat. Khalid made a short headline in the front page last year “2008” when his family denied that he faced an assassination attempt in Spain. The Egyptian website “Save Egypt Front” claimed that he survived an assassination attempt in Spain where as his family contacted the website to correct this information. According to his family he was injured in a simple car crash in Spain and he was transferred to Paris for treatment. And that’s it.
The next time the Salems were to be mentioned in media aside from the typical EMG news was when Hussein Salem did not show up at the Annual NDPC 2008!! It made some eye brows to rise but it seems that the man is really getting old; for sure his son is a member in the Policies Committee in the NDP. The last time I saw both the son and the father was in 4 four advertorial pages in October magazine about the Salem Trophy championship for Golf which is held at his hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh in February annually. For the record in the anniversary of Camp David I found a very interesting interview with him in Al Masry Al Youm. It is more interesting that Al Masry is considered the only newspaper that has a direct access to this media shy person; I think Salah Diab1 is behind that interview. I was not surprised that much what the man had said in that interview on how Egypt has suffered a lot of wars and how Mubarak was wise in the Gaza war yet I was surprised when he was mentioned that he started his life working in the textile industry support fund!!!!!
Salem again is under the spotlight because of its important cases, first of all the case of Wagih Siag against the State and the new gas deal between Egypt and Israel which was exposed by the Israeli Ha’artez
This history of Salem as I said is ignored or rather ordered to be ignored in the homeland after all President Mubarak is his old friend who stays in his resort in Sharm El-Sheikh , still whether he likes it or not, from time to time he appears in the independent media as the villain of the nation who owns a ferry that kills people or owns an oil refinery company in a joint partnership with Israel or even exports the gas to the enemy one day he used to fight, nobody wants to remember that he made something for sure in Sharm El-sheikh, may be the people will remember him as the real godfather of Sharm El-Sheikh if he was not that businessman who sold his country , the blood of its martyrs and the rights of its people for the money

Updated on February 15, 2011

During the glorious revolution of January 25 Hussein Salem left the country cowardly. Early reports spoke that he left to Dubai but it turned out that he headed to Switzerland according to many eye witnesses who spotted him at Kempinski hotel Geneva. Ironically on February 3rd, the legendary businessman who rarely spoke to the media spoke on air on TV for the first and the last time in Egypt to deny that he fled the country. Salem spoke with Amr Adib on Al Hayat 2 channel for 5 minutes.
Salem speaks on TV : I did not escape
Next day Adib confirmed the news of his escape to the viewers as he tried to call him on the mobile phone that he called him from to find it closed!!I think Salem called Adib because he believed that his friend can crack down this revolution and things would return to what it used be still he left the country just in case.
Now the fortune of Salem is expected to be more than Egypt’s budget. He is revealed as the front for Hosni Mubarak’s investments himself. There are rumors that Salem fled the country with Mubarak’s fortune, if this is true than Salem is the richest man in the world if we combine his fortune with Mubarak’s fortune!!! We found out that Salem was the partner of Ibrahim Kamel and Hamza El-Kholy in First Investment Company. Hamza El-Kholy’s name suddenly appeared to become the old business partner of Salem in First Mall, Movenpick and Four Seasons resorts “I thought that Four seasons hotels in Egypt were owned by Talaat Mustafa Clan!!”
More and more details are revealed about Salem to the level that I am thinking of writing a second part to this post.
Notes
1. Salah Diab is Al Masry Al Youm main publisher and one of the prominent Egyptian businessmen with clear and announced economic and business relation with Israel.
Links and Sources:

24 comments:

  1. dont worry Egypt could bring all this crooks back to Egypt and bilions of money they took with him just like Ben Ali's family. Just put their names on Interpol and be sure u will see their faces again on Egypt soils!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also a simple Googling of the man gives interesting news.

    http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000619367&fid=1725 - 31st Jan 2011

    "Hussein Salem caught in Dubai with $500m

    Hussein Salem, an Egyptian partner of Israeli businessman Yosef Maiman in the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which has long term agreements to supply natural gas to Israel, has been caught in Dubai with $500 million in cash in his possession, according to agency reports this morning."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes please, write a second part!! This guy is really amazing!! Let me contribute a little bit: Salem also owns Jolie Ville - the label. And under this label he owns one of the biggest shopping malls in Bucharest Romania, the Jollie Ville Galeria: http://www.jolieville.ro/blog/en/
    Again: Write more!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We really need to find out more about East Mediterranean Gas Co.(EMG)and it's shareholders and board members. Any clues anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would not be surprised if he turned out to be a mossad agent....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have you read this:

    http://www.travellerwithin.com/2009/08/new-egypt-israel-gas-deal-what-we-need.html

    He put a lot of research into the whole natural gas setup. At the end of the post there is a link to part 2 which continues the information and includes info on Hussein Salem.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hussein Salem is a business man... not a politician so who cares what he does he is not responsible for Egypt's money and problems. Egypt needs to think about the future not the past and move on no one will every know the truth of events on how people got rich even the media is full of lies, everyone makes mistakes and do they things they wish they hadn't or wish they had people need to look at themselves first and realize they are also not angels I mean Hussein Salem or Hubib Adly i mean really...

    ReplyDelete
  8. HUssein salem never owned a boat which makes your other facts not very believable, and if you want to know something else the last boat that sank which was owned by the owner of Concorde al salam in sharm fled the country and hussein salem actually gave a lot of money to all the families of the victims...... thats why people mistake him as the owner GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT PLEASE

    ReplyDelete
  9. He never owned boats ( you know how many people are called salem ??) your facts are wrong... Also He was never in the air force, media decided to add that false information just to link him with our ex president business wise, of which he just has great respect for him for his work.

    I would like to clarify that their is an agreement with Israel for business, and that thousands and thousands of egyptians do business with israel in trading of various items..

    Salem made alot of money for this country for all the sectors he has worked in and the country is still benefitting until today from it with millions.
    furthermore, he has over 3,000 employees , of which he decided not to fire or lay off in the circumstances of how business and tourism is falling these days...
    Without this man's vision for Sharm el Sheikh and investment as you have mentioned in water, Sharm would not have been what it is today , which is the treasure of the egyptian tourism.

    We need not to attack the business men in the country who legally didn't breach any laws and were not in the political party ( example, Sawiris, salah diab, etc...) because this will result in zero investment for the country and will lead to lose of millions of dollars and a raise in unemployment.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hosni Mubarak's 'private home' in Sharm is actually in the grounds of Salem's Jolie Ville Golf Resort. As is the 'private home' of the Sultan of Oman (beit al Saifa).

    Makes you think!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very Well researched. I researched this topic thoroughly as well. Pls refer to almasry alyoum, and you will find additional information with regards to EATSCO & EMG (company exporting gas to Israel. By the way, Almasry Alyoum played a major role in exposing the corruption of gas exports to israel. Salah Diab himself was the one who leaked teh MIDOR documents(march 5th 2011 editions page 16) to Magdi Mohana, who was the first editor in chief of Almasry Alyoum. I think the Isareli connections just another rumor that was spread by abdallah kamal and the security officers to discredit Almasry Alyoum.

    ReplyDelete
  12. http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=289605

    pls read the above and subsequent articles related to MIDOR, EMG and Hussein Salem involvement in EATSCO

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please correct your comment with regards to Salah Diab. The state media (rosa alyoussef) spread out rumors trying to almasry alyoum through him.

    The fact that he gave almasry an interview does not mean anything...... or how culd you explain that he called alqaheria alyoum and two other talk shows? the owners ofthe se talkshows have economic interests with Israel?? otherwise your article is very well researched.

    ReplyDelete
  14. am one of there workers before,,,,,,,, one more to let anyone know that they owned also a five star resort in mauritious./,a 3x bigger mall of city star egypt in Thailand. magda is a CRAZY WOMAN.

    ReplyDelete
  15. When they talked about the fortune of Mubarak to be in the range of 40 milliards, I was not surprised, because of what happened more than 20 years ago. I am an engineer, was working as the project manager of the Swiss co. Schindler Lifts and were asked to install two or more lifts in a villa in Heliopolis, when I visited the Villa I knew it belonged to one 'Hussein Salem" who was a rich man working in the Arms and petrol business. At that time I also knew that Hussein Salem was the "POCKET" of Hosni Mubarak, I repeat the "POCKET". which means that the business was of Mubarak but with Hussein Salem's name.Can you imagine how much money they made during the last 20 years???

    ReplyDelete
  16. I smell the antichrist!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had the pleasure and felt blessed to have this gentleman as a friend. I am very shocked for what happened and I am praying that all will be solved, for he really is a good man. Very generous, very compasionate and very very good friend.May God have nercy on him and hi famiuly, specialyhis son who is also very god man. Siter Marinagele

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mr. Saem is very devote muslim and a very geneous peson as well as all his family. I have seen oor peole get on their knees kissing is hand as he gave to them one hundred ollar bills during e tim of ramadan, as he visited the moske. I wish for him al the blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  19. People of Egypt have become full of resentment and hatred.
    It is disgusting what is happening now.
    What is certain is that they will regret it on day.
    A revolution per century in Egypt?????
    Only money changes hands, and history repeats itself but the country is not progressing at this rate.
    So Wake up and go forward, leave your demons in the closet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. just to let everyone know that first husband of maggda salem daughter of hussien salem is mohammmed fatouh and they got 2 female lucky but ridiculous girl nina and nelly. 2nd husband is hatem el shiek they got two disgusting sibblings name nour and omar 3rd is ahmed mohammed galel all of this guys they just get money hundred of millions money of dollars wherein thats the money really of egypt people, to magda hussien salem their bank actually. hahahaha. if his father is the pocket oof mubarack magda is big well of this three kingsmen.and take take note that the latest one is ahmad galil so maybe tru this hell galil they will kept all their money so that they will accuate their case remember this pity's egyptians.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, my name is Justine Choe and for my project in one of my classes, I need to interview a journalist. My project is about how the investigative journalism of Watergate is similar to that of all the social media at play in the Egyptian Protests earlier this year. I was wondering if I could interview you via Skype about the media coverage of the Egyptian Protests.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A mixture of some (few) facts - a lot of hear-say and most of it speculations and wrong info.
    Badly researched.
    HKS is not an angel - but he also created thousands of jobs - talk to the people who worked for him - they adore him. He is a crook - maybe he is - but he also cared about his people like a father - I met him often and he always had the welfare of his people in mind.
    Sad that Revolutions - as good as this one is - also eat the people who gave a backbone to the economy of the country - without those Entrepreneurs like HKS Egypt would have still been a third world country - THEY built your State - now you punish them for making also beeing successfull.
    But again - I learned to sadly know - this is also Egypt - best friends won't hesitate to denounce eachother for getting a small advantage over the other.
    Very sad.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I worked for HKS for many years , I even had the privilege to be close to this man , he cared about the people of Egypt and created a bond with his employees that was truly remarkable.
    This man was a Father to his employees and many others , he was a business man that was up there with the top business men of the world ,Egypt needs men like HKS and make no mistake " He was a Man ".
    Thank you HKS you are a gentlemen and by far the best employer I have ever worked for .
    HKS I have the privilege of calling you my friend and I would say that in front of the world !.DJ

    ReplyDelete

Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here , I will not tolerate any insult in my blog or any racist or hateful comment
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner do not represent the views of the blog's owner