Rami Makhlouf
Syrian businessman
Rami Makhlouf
Rami Makhlouf is a wealthy Syrian businessman and the maternal cousin of President Bashar Assad. He is considered one of the most powerful men in Syria and according to Syrian analysts no foreign company can do business in Syria without his consent and partnership. He is a part of Bashar Assad's inner circle.
Biography
Rami Makhlouf's personal information overview.
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News
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The Sound of a Missile
CNN - over 3 years
     The ongoing Syria situation has brought the world in to debate. The grand countries are choosing sides, promises are made and threats are fired. Behind the approach of United States, the delicate position of Turkey and the curse of the Assad family, there is a humane scene that is disappearing in vain. This article reflects what we have and what we are losing.     One of the main players in Syria tragedy is United States; decision of an intervention has pushed US in to the lead role. As the acts start to unfold, I believe that the interference should not be military focused. United States working diplomatically with the countries that support Assad’s departure and creating a financial fund to assist the reconstruction of Syria after this period would benefit Syria’s diplomatic advance in the long run. After giving up substantial casualties in Libya during the 1980s and the failure of democratization attempts in the last decade, United States cannot afford another eastern warfare ...
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CNN article
Assad's Cousin Has Citizenship Revoked From Cyprus
Huffington Post - over 3 years
NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Cyprus' government spokesman says Cypriot citizenship that was granted to the Syrian president's cousin two years ago has been revoked. Spokesman Christos Stylianides said Saturday that the decision follows the conclusion of a lengthy probe that ruled revoking Rami Makhlouf's citizenship was justified. Makhlouf is on the European Union's list of Syrians facing sanctions for involvement in the violent repression of Syrian citizens or financially supporting the Syrian regime. The EU froze the assets of and imposed a visa ban on Syrian President Bashar Assad and other members of his regime in May, 2011 because of his crackdown on anti-government protesters. Makhlouf controls the mobile phone network and other lucrative enterprises in Syria and has been the focus of much protester anger in the country.
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Huffington Post article
Assad appears on state-run TV, says 'time is needed' to win war
Fox News - over 4 years
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday that his government forces need time to win the country's civil war, which he says has drawn in regional and international powers. The remarks were a sign Assad's regime may be hunkering down for a drawn out struggle against rebels on a multitude of fronts, including Damascus, the capital and Assad's seat of power, Aleppo, the nation's largest city, and a string of cities and towns across the Arab nation. They also appeared to reinforce Assad's remarks to a visiting Iranian official over the weekend that his regime would continue the fight against the rebels "whatever the price." "We are fighting a regional and global war, so time is needed to win it," he told privately owned Dunya television, which is majority owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad and one of Syria's wealthiest men. Assad responded with a hearty laugh when told by the interviewer that rumors about his whereabouts often made the rounds among Syrians. "I am her ...
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Fox News article
A tale of two gulfs: the rise and fall of oil prospecting - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
This action was authorised by President Bashar al-Assad, whose cousin Rami Makhlouf has close ties with the company, and a 5.7 per cent stake – which was frozen last month. The diverging outlooks for Gulf Keystone and Gulfsands underline just how fluid
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Google News article
Syria through the sniper's sights - GlobalPost
Google News - over 5 years
Al Dunya TV is Syria's only private satellite channel and is majority-owned by President's Assad's first cousin and the country's wealthiest businessman, Rami Makhlouf. In June the station hosted the pro-regime analyst Dr. Taleb Ibrahim, who called on
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Google News article
Why many Syrians still support Assad - Christian Science Monitor
Google News - over 5 years
That's due at least in part to the fact that relatives and allies of Assad, including his business tycoon cousin Rami Makhlouf, still control broad swaths of the economy. “Many businessmen are forces to partner with regime figures such as Rami Makhlouf
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Google News article
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 - Ahram Online
Google News - over 5 years
Rami Makhlouf, the cousin who runs the most lucrative enterprises in the country and has been called "the collector" for the regime, is also a self-described hardliner. Makhlouf announced with cheerful demeanour to the New York Times last spring his
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Google News article
Why Is Qaddafi Using Syrian TV to Tell the World He's Still in Libya? - The Atlantic Wire
Google News - over 5 years
Arrai also has links with Rami Makhlouf, the Syrian telecommunications tycoon and cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Arrai isn't just conveying Qaddafi's messages. According to the BBC, it's also broadcasting statements by his son Saif
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Google News article
Syria at this Moment - truthout
Google News - over 5 years
And Rami Makhlouf, the cousin who runs the most lucrative enterprises in the country and has been called the "collector" for the regime, is a self-described hardliner. Makhlouf announced with cheerful demeanor to New York Times last spring his support
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Google News article
Small Talk: Cupid leads the way after a rocky quarter on the AIM 50 index - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
With President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown on protesters, Gulfsands was forced to defend itself amid criticism of its links with Mr Assad's cousin, Rami Makhlouf, a major player in the Syrian economy. In a market update, Gulfsands said it was
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Google News article
Syria: Lies and slurs for those who dare to challenge Ribal and Rifat Assad - Global Arab Network - English News
Google News - over 5 years
Gulf Sands Worldwide not its Syria branch (not Rami Makhlouf who I lobbied to get sanctioned) donated to the Damask Rose Trust, a UK-based charity. Neither of us knew that Makhlouf was a shareholder of Gulf Sands in Syria at the time, but the donation
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Google News article
US sanctions banks facilitating Syria-N. Korea WMD cooperation - World Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
SyriaTel was identified as being owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad and regarded as a leading financier of the regime. "Despite attempts to obscure his controlling interest in Syriatel, Makhlouf has continued to own and run the
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Google News article
Europeans and US seek sanctions against Syria - Forbes
Google News - over 5 years
The draft resolution calls for an asset freeze against 23 key Syrian figures including Bashar Assad, his younger brother, Maher, who is believed to be in command of much of the current bloody crackdown, and his millionaire cousin, Rami Makhlouf,
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Google News article
COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Tullow Oil, Glencore, Sound Oil, Condor Resources, Medusa Mining - Proactive Investors UK
Google News - over 5 years
The company added that it has suspended all payments to Rami Makhlouf, who was affected by the sanctions, in May this year and suspended the voting, dividend and transfer rights held by his investment company Al Mashrek. Elsewhere in the markets,
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rami Makhlouf
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 46
    Makhlouf was implicated in the leaked 2016 Panama Papers, which detailed his control over Syria's national industries.
    More Details Hide Details His name also surfaced as part of the Swissleaks investigation. Frederik Obermaier, an investigative reporter at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, told Democracy Now: "Fonseca realised that Makhlouf was the cousin, and they realised that he was sanctioned, and they realised that he's allegedly one of the financiers of the Syrian regime. And they said, 'Oh, there is this bank who still does business with him, so we should still keep with him, as well'." Some opposition activists during the Syrian Civil War accused Makhlouf of financing pro-government demonstrations both across Syria and abroad, by providing flags, meals and money for those participating. The tycoon insisted his businesses are legitimate and provide professional employment for thousands of Syrians.
  • 2015
    Age 45
    The Swiss Federal Administrative Court in 2015 rejected an appeal of the block on his use of an undisclosed sum in his Swiss accounts.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2012
    Age 42
    In late January 2012, he bought about 15 times as many shares (by value) as he sold, buying and selling of shares, mostly in Qatar National Bank–Syria and Syria International Islamic Bank.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2011
    Age 41
    This search was based on the decision of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States dated 27 November 2011, to impose multiple sanctions on Syria, and on and decisions issued by the European Union and the United States involving economic sanctions on Syria.
    More Details Hide Details In February 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury designated Makhlouf as a beneficiary and facilitator of public corruption in Syria. His influence and connections within the government have allowed him to control the issuance of certain types of profitable commodities contracts, it said. According to the US Treasury, “Makhlouf has manipulated the Syrian judicial system and used Syrian intelligence officials to intimidate his business rivals. He employed these techniques when trying to acquire exclusive licenses to represent foreign companies in Syria and to obtain contract awards.” On 10 May 2011, the European Union placed sanctions on him for "bankrolling the government and allowing violence against demonstrators". Makhlouf's brother Hafez Makhlouf was until 2014 head of Syria's intelligence agency, the General Security Directorate. Political observers generally accept that Makhlouf's great wealth is a result of his close family ties to the Syrian government. It is reported that Bashar al-Assad before he became president would during official meetings try to make business contacts for Rami. In US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, Rami Makhlouf is described as a powerful government financer. Makhlouf has further been accused of illegally diverting Lebanese telephone calls through Syria with the help of businessman Pierre Fattouch for the benefit of Syriatel.
    On 16 June 2011, Rami Makhlouf stated that he would "quit the Syrian business scene".
    More Details Hide Details Syria Files examined by Al Akhbar showed that Makhlouf continued to invest in several banks during 2011 and 2012.
    United Nations observers at its Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, set up in 2011, have documented "mass arrests by regime forces, leading to the enforced disappearance of large groups of fighting-age men."
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 2001
    Age 31
    Despite several warnings from the Syrian government not to interfere, Seif began an anticorruption campaign in September 2001 against the way the two GSM mobile phone licenses were awarded, of which one to Maklouf's Syriatel.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter Seif lost his parliamentary immunity and was arrested and imprisoned for five years.
    Seif, a member of parliament and one of the most ardent critics of the Syrian government, became known outside of Syria because of his criticism of the government during the Damascus Spring of 2001.
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  • 2000
    Age 30
    By the time Bashar assumed power in 2000, Rami Makhlouf was well established.
    More Details Hide Details Rami Makhlouf is thought to have tried in 2004 to take over the Mercedes concession in Syria, by ensuring passage of a law denying Mercedes the right to import parts unless Makhlouf was made the exclusive agent for Mercedes in Syria. Mercedes wanted to keep the Sanqar family, who had had the concession since the 1960s. Mercedes ceased all activity in Syria until the dispute was resolved, and the Mercedes concession is now once again controlled by the Sanqar family. Makhlouf's current business interests are extensive. He is the majority owner of Cham Holding which has investments in luxury tourism, restaurants, and real estate through Bena Properties. Cham Holding also controls Syrian Pearl Airlines, the first private airline to be allowed in the country. He is also invested in several private banks established in Syria, such as the International Islamic Bank of Syria, Al Baraka Bank, International Bank of Qatar, Cham Bank, and the Bank of Jordan in Syria; in insurance and financial services companies, such as Cham Capital. Like his father, Mohammed Makhlouf, he is active in the oil sector, via the British oil company Gulfsands Petroleum. He is also invested in real estate companies such as Sourouh, Fajr, Al Batra, and Al Hada'iq; in tourism companies such as Al Mada'in and in in media companies such as the daily Al Watan, radio/television station Ninar and satellite station Dunya TV, advertising companies like Promedia; in education companies such as the Chouwayfat schools; in industry through the Eltel Middle East company; and in public works companies such as Ramak TP.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1969
    Born
    He was born on 10 July 1969.
    More Details Hide Details Rami Makhlouf is the main owner of Syriatel, one of two licensed mobile phone companies in Syria. Besides Syriatel, he is involved in real estate, banking, free trade zones along the border with Lebanon, duty-free shops, and luxury department stores. According to the Financial Times, he is thought to control as much as 60% of the Syrian economy through his web of business interests. Makhlouf was among a diverse group of connected insiders who monopolized the small, but growing, Syrian private sector in the 1990s. As President Hafez al-Assad prepared for his son's succession, the distribution of assets from privatization began to shift clearly in favor of the Makhloufs. Assad believed the Makhlouf family could be relied upon to support Bashar without reserve in the uncertain political environment that would follow upon his death, unlike other insiders, who had close financial ties to billionaire Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, such as former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam. Rami and his brother Ihab therefore enjoyed easy access to opportunities such as an exclusive license to operate a network of duty-free retail shops, where a significant portion of goods were redistributed inside the country.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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