This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Meet The Objects Tunisia's Ben Ali Did Not Have Time To Steal

Tyler Durden's picture


Even as Ben Ali was fleeing his country, his presidential palace continued to be a hoard of all the items he had "borrowed" over the decades. As Al Arabiya reports, "Tunisia's ousted president stashed diamonds, gold and wads of cash in
secret spots around his palace in the impoverished country's capital,
according to video shown by state television on Saturday." The clip below shows the objects Ali was in too much of a hurry to pick up. Among these: wall safes full of cotton fiat, necklaces and other trinkets. Alas: not a single bar of silver or gold anywhere. It seems the dictator may have lacked in PR skills, but he sure knew what to pick when fleeing the country.

The clip below (after the jump) shows parts of the spoils.

From Al Arabiya:

Tunisia's ousted president stashed diamonds, gold and wads of cash in secret spots around his palace in the impoverished country's capital, according to video shown by state television on Saturday.

Popular uprisings in January toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years of repressive rule, sending shockwaves through the rest of the Arab world and encouraging a similar revolution in Egypt.

Ben Ali hid treasures behind curtains and in secret compartments behind the palace library, according to the video broadcast by First National TV, which showed millions of dollars and euros, diamond necklaces and gold recovered from the palace in Tunis' Sidi Bou Said district.

The broadcast said the riches would be redistributed to Tunisians, who have complained of rampant corruption during Ben Ali's rule of the North African state. Tunisian GDP per capita is roughly $10 per day.

France, Switzerland, Canada, and the European Union have said they have frozen the assets of the former president and his family. Tunisia's interim government, charged with setting elections, said it was seeking to recover money and property to help combat poverty.

While we are waiting for the WGC to distribute an updated sovereign gold and/or tungsten holdings list, here are the countries that we expect to see a material decline in their gold stash sooner or later:

  • Saudi Arabia: 322.9 tonnes
  • Algeria: 173.6 tonnes
  • Libya: 143.8 tonnes
  • Kuwait: 79.0 tonnes
  • Egypt: 75.6 tonnes
  • Bangladesh: 13.5 tonnes
  • Tunisia: 6.8 tonnes
  • Bahrain: 4.7 tonnes
  • Congo: 0.3 tonnes
  • Kenya: 0.0 tonnes



- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 21:53 | Link to Comment traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

But, but, you can't eat gold - bitchez!

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:36 | Link to Comment Malcolm Tucker
Malcolm Tucker's picture

Video of a protest in Damascus, Syria on Thursday! This happened after a shopkeeper got beaten up by traffic cops for no reason:

Here we go.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 08:56 | Link to Comment CPL
CPL's picture

Appearently the egyptian public isn't allowed to strike or meet in one place now for protest.

Fuck I love it when I'm right.


Any bets on how fast this turns into a shooting match.  I'm down for five by weds.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:00 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

Where are the shoe collections? Don't the Queens treasure shoes anymore?

Imelda Marcos' 3,000 Pairs of Shoes

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 08:46 | Link to Comment Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Gold is the most liquid and does not have a serial number

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:08 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

Show me the pretty shoes!

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 21:55 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Al arabiya and al jazeera may be just what the middle east needs to further progress. Yes it will be messy and scary at times but so was the french revolution

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 21:59 | Link to Comment Worker Bee
Worker Bee's picture

Yea cause the French Revolution turned out sooo well for Liberty and the freedom of the serfdom....

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:28 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Spot on worker bee. This revolution meme is a huge pressure release valve, it never ends well for either side, at best gives rise to a new terrible or at worse, brings on true repression.

Also, I read recently (tarpley I think), that Al Jazeera is a western creation. An agent provocateur if you will. Makes sense. You (as in they) cannot have a truly independent news agency runnign amok/amuck in the ME, can you?


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:12 | Link to Comment PY-129-20
PY-129-20's picture

A western creation? And how does it serve the Western governments? I thought the US (EU) Gov would be glad if none of these revolutions would have happened, because they were actually doing quite fine with these dictators.

I mean look at my government. They know that some weapons, goods, etc. are shipped to Iran. Of course, they are not glad about Mr. A. threatening Israel. With our past, we have to stick to Israel and are not allowed to raise any critical questions about what they're doing in Palestine. But it's money and money rules the world. I know a guy who is working  in the arms industry. His viewpoint: "Well, we deliver all these weapons to them. I don't care about Israel. I don't care about Iran. If they want to kill each other, I don't have a problem with that. In fact, it's good for the business."

And our government won't stop them, they will condemn it in public and if there is public pressure  they might even introduce a meaningless law to calm the mood.I know that most of our political parties are sponsored by the arms industry, mostly illegal and without paying taxes or whatsoever. Hypocrisy is a part of the political business.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 09:42 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

PY, too much big picture thinking required to grasp that western governments are not what we think they are. Please read the linked blog (mine, you can take it or leave it).

The entire set-up we are party to is a sham and a scam.

And wikipedia is a poor source of authentic information except on the most mundane things.

Not in the creation of a television channel with the long term view of socially engineering an entire people.

And your friend's view is mighty simplistic too, by the way.


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 01:30 | Link to Comment Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

A couple generations later the end result was decent.  I would hate to have been in France during the messy sorting out process, however.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 12:44 | Link to Comment SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

"Sorting Out" coming to a county near you!

Free search, seizure and starvation! Just call 1-800-UFU-CKED.

Call now and receive an additional free gift!

A FEMA pass absolutely free!!


Sat, 02/19/2011 - 21:58 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture
  • Kenya: 0.0 tonnes.

Appears our President will not flee to his homeland. Snickers.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:35 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

I was wondering how much of a material drop Kenya could make.


Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:02 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Protesters dead in Ivory Coast:

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

There goes my cup of cocoa!

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:15 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:04 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Was listening to the new Prez of "Bezerkistan on the Med" formerly know as Tunisia and strangely he never added the caveat "give us our gold back or we will hunt you and your family down and kill you like a dog."  I do (humbly, my liege) offer my services as a speech writer....

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:08 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

How much is enough? Why do you need to steal that much from the people when you know many of them are dying of hunger. I do not get it. Profound insecurity? What? 

I can see why folks might get mad enough to want to destroy a despot thief like this...

Not that there is anything parallel to this in our country...

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:58 | Link to Comment MolotovCockhead
MolotovCockhead's picture

After a while, stealing becomes a hobby. Avoid getting caught gives adrenalin rush.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:15 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Knowing that people die of hunger does not register with complete sociopaths.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:11 | Link to Comment PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture


Long live the King! The King is Gone...Long Live the Queen!

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

That was a nice stash. 

You can't eat gold but you can buy a chain of restaurants with it. 

I still like my idea of laying kitchen tile with your bars of gold.

Cover it over with two coats of paint to hide it. Nobody would believe it.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:25 | Link to Comment spdrdr
spdrdr's picture

I have heard of black painted 5 kilo silver doorstops.

Sounds good to me!


Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:00 | Link to Comment LiquidBrick
LiquidBrick's picture

I still like my idea of laying kitchen tile with your bars of gold.

Cover it over with two coats of paint to hide it. Nobody would believe it.

They will now that you advertised it or if they know one had enough $ to lay that much tile.

Best to lay them in your ceiling tile to prevent the floor scratches and seriously impede intruders without ladders.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:53 | Link to Comment The Answer Is 42
The Answer Is 42's picture

That's right up there with gold toilet seats, pillows, and winter boots.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 03:54 | Link to Comment DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

You ever rip up tile that has been cemented down and grouted properly?  Ain't a lot of fun and would really FU the back of the bar not to mention, what's your plan to get the paint and adhesive shit off, and polish the bars to mint condition?

I can just see it, when the house is on fire,  you bent over with pry bar in hand while your ass is aflame.

Any decent house contractor knows multiple places in a home where a safe, or better two, could be properly installed, well hidden and still be easily accessible.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 07:14 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

Why use a safe at all?

They're only "burglar magnets."

Safes are best used as a decoy. Put a couple dozen silver coins and some fiat in them to distract the intruder from your real stash.

There are better/more convenient places to hide things...

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

that motherfukker had more USD in a little box in Tunisia, then i have in my bank account from working the past 25 years

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:30 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Seasmoke, he was a ruler of a nation. Stands to reason, ne? I feel your rage though.



Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:49 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

So much for benevolent monarchs eh? ;-)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 00:36 | Link to Comment Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

An oxymoron perhaps nm? Especially in these times?


Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:34 | Link to Comment MolotovCockhead
MolotovCockhead's picture

Wrong, your bank account has digital figures.....101001001...something like that, not cash.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:19 | Link to Comment h3m1ngw4y
h3m1ngw4y's picture

What really should get you thinking is, that he didnt take his USD with him. it was not worth the effort. I dont remember quite right but what was it he took with him?


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 09:21 | Link to Comment ciscokid
ciscokid's picture

I wonder what you will find in George

and Dicks safes.


Sun, 02/20/2011 - 15:11 | Link to Comment Antipodeus
Antipodeus's picture

In the former - comic books;

In the latter - bottles of babies' tears.



Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:22 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

But try and do it with a hundred billion barrels of oil.  All those guns--all those guns--around "The Prize."  And the beauty of it all?  You know it's coming.  I know it's coming.  And they know that you and I know it's coming.  Now my question to you is "shall we just pass the popcorn" or "become activists in this dirty no-good cause"?

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:46 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

I could have sworn one of those envelopes said Friends of Angelo ;-)

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 22:48 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Kenya 0.0 tonnes?
Can't Obummer help a brother out?

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:01 | Link to Comment Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Cotton fiat bitchez!! Own at your own risk.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:43 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

`Jump down

 Turn around

 Pick a bale of cotton'

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 23:38 | Link to Comment Instant Karma
Instant Karma's picture

I didn't think the cash looked like US Dollars? Looked pinkish?

As Mel Brooks said "its good to be the king."

Once you control a country as a dictator or oligarch you're in the Billionaires club in no time.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 03:10 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

Louis, sez you.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 00:03 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

...but he sure knew what to pick when fleeing the country.


Most thieves know what will be easy to fence.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 00:36 | Link to Comment bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


A little revison,

"we expect to see a material decline in their gold stash sooner or later:

  • Kenya: 0.0 tonnes"
  • Uhm....

    Not a big numbers guy but that just doesn't add up. Was Kenya net short gold hoping to ------front run------ other players ha, ha, ha.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 00:41 | Link to Comment Tyler Durden
    Tyler Durden's picture

    Margin gold would show up as a negative number. Also, why does everyone call it paper instead of binary?

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 01:28 | Link to Comment Mad Max
    Mad Max's picture

    I call it fiatscos, which encompasses the duality of the paper/binary fiat.  Think of it as a far less useful wavicle than photons, or the Holy Trinity minus the Father.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 03:09 | Link to Comment snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    Neutrinos...constantly changing flavor, but still no rest mass of note.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 02:25 | Link to Comment snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    You know 999kg is less than 1 tonne, right?

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 00:50 | Link to Comment disabledvet
    disabledvet's picture

    "Button pushers."  Does it get anymore...human?  Only the retarded Mullahs in Iran think the whole deal is about Israel.  Talk about the perfect foil.  A government only the Russians could love.  Even at time in American History the world still believes "it's about Empire."  When will they learn.  When will they learn.  Now excuse my while I go back and watch Kelly's Heros for the upteenth time.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 12:08 | Link to Comment Iam Rich
    Iam Rich's picture

    I think this is the answer.  The Israelis and Arabs are the repbulicrats of the ME for TPTB that actually own the place.  It is important that they have their constant fight, distracts everyone from what's actually going on.  Hosni M, $80b.  That Israeli/Arab fight was certainly good him.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:00 | Link to Comment Antipodeus
    Antipodeus's picture

    GREAT MOVIE!!  One of my all-time favourites!  Such stars!  I remember when I first saw it as a kid (O.K. ... 'teenager').  At the end as they're driving towards the Alps with that officer hot on their trail - thinking: "They'll never get away with it! ... They'll never get ... Oh, wait ... surely not? ... They're going to get away with it? ... They going to get away with it! ... THEY GOT ..." (You get the idea.)

    Then there was the original "The Italian Job".  Ah, the good ole days!


    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:00 | Link to Comment Antipodeus
    Antipodeus's picture


    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:11 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
    EscapeKey's picture

    Perhaps I overanalyse, but I don't recall bankers lining up to explain how there definititely isn't a shortage in investment silver up until now. And since you can pretty much count on something once it's been denied... Not forgetting that surely tightness in one market will eventually lead to tightness in the other, considering they compete for the same supply.



    UBS lifts silver forecasts on demand view, tightness



    "It is important to differentiate when speaking of tightness in the silver market," UBS said in its Friday report. "It is certainly not tight across the board."


    "From our conversations this week, for instance, we understand that there is no shortage of standard 1,000 ounce silver bar. Yet parts of the silver physical chain are experiencing extremely high demand and rising premiums."


    "Demand for 999 kilo and smaller bars, and silver industrial products, for instance, is high and suffering supply constraints."


    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 20:11 | Link to Comment snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    Uhhhh...can't they melt the 1000oz bars and make 10x100oz or 100x10oz or 1000x1oz?

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 08:41 | Link to Comment bullchit
    bullchit's picture

    Kenya welcomes ex-presidents.

    Our relief fund will be for your disposal.


    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:12 | Link to Comment savagegoose
    savagegoose's picture

    hehehe make the safe out of gold, and paint it grey.

    crooks will wonder why it was so easy to cut thru.

    Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    My parents had a friend in the 60s who was a jeweler; he'd leave the (likely insured) gold scraps out on his workbench and store his drugs in the safe. No shit.

    Tue, 02/22/2011 - 10:37 | Link to Comment MarcusAurelius
    MarcusAurelius's picture

    Is it any secret that these impoverished country leaders do this sort of thing? They have been doing it for decades. There is a special place in hell for these people and their heinous crimes against humanity. However the people that givemoney openly and freely to them whether for political or strategic gain (usually they go nad in hand) will be there right beside them. Still think charities are a good thing? Still think giving money to these people in impoversihed countries is a good thing? Most of it never reaches the ones who need it. 

    Of course you have Bill Clinton, Gates, Buffet and the rest of the multi millionarie, or billionaire crowd preaching "give to charity". I was relieved that there was one smart fellow among them who refused to do this. His logic was brilliant. Of course I am talking about Carlos S. Helu who owns the telecom giant in Mexico. This man having seen third wrold corruption up close (unlike Gates and the like) knows full well what happens when you do this and he told Gates to his face. Coupled to the fact that Trillions have been thrown at charity and how much better off is the world as a result. Perhaps better than nothing but barely. There are far better ways to make use of scarce resources and putting them in the hands of criminals has proved useless over the decades. How much more money will be squandered before this message is finally realized. These pigs don't just take a few million for themselves, no...they take billions for themsleves and their cronies. We need to wake up and realize this sort of help is less than effective. 


    Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!