This week the Tunisia Central Bank (TCB) dismissed French reports that Ben Ali’s wife left with the gold.
"The rumour circulating in the media about the withdrawal of a tonne-and-a-half of gold from the TCB is unfounded,” the bank said Friday in a statement. “The stock of gold in the TCB, which is about 5.3 tonnes, is under draconian security measures.”
The World Gold Council last year said in an online report that Tunisia had 6.8 tonnes, an amount that has not changed for years. The TCB said it has about 5.3 tonnes in its reserves, and another 1.5 tonnes in the Bank of England.
The Tunisia-based publication African Manager claims to have proof of this. It published a document on Friday that it says is a fax sent from the Bank of England on 11 December that shows the bank holds 44.93 ounces of gold for the Tunisian Central Bank, or about 1.4 metric tonnes.