PA Intensifies Search for Arafat?s Billions

A year after Arafat’s death, the PA has intensified its search for hundreds of millions of dollars that disappeared in his wake. Now the PA is asking Israel’s help to find the lost loot.

Scott Shiloh, | updated: 15:52

The PA’s appointee for financial matters, Salam Fayid, has asked Israeli intelligence to help search for Arafat’s secret investments, estimated at upwards of one billion dollars. The PA wants the money to help set up a state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Most of the efforts to find the money are focusing on locating a web of complex investments spread around the world by Arafat’s financial advisor and personal confidante, Mohammed Rashid. Rashid has so far been unwilling to volunteer detailed information regarding those investments.

A number of investments were purportedly made in various tourist sites in Africa, with others in communications and other international high-tech companies. Rashid, considered an expert at moving and hiding money, so far has not left any significant leads.

Arafat’s wife, Suha, who currently lives in Tunisia, is also apparently a party to the money’s disappearance. Suha’s expense account in Paris has led investigators to open a file into suspicions of her involvement in laundering money in Swiss bank accounts, according to Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot.

Five years ago, at the onset of the Oslo War, Suha and her daughter moved to Paris, where she received a stipend from Arafat that ballooned to a quarter-million euros per month.

Suha began investing in international companies through the help of financial advisors like Rashid, who made it difficult to follow the money. Suha did not attend Arafat’s funeral last year, out of fear the PA was after her money.

An intelligence source has said that it is possible that the location of Arafat’s millions may never be known.