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Egypt says arrests gold thieves

The ministry says an official at the finance ministry was involved in the robbery

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Sep 2015
Egypt
(Photo: AP)
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Egyptian police have arrested on Friday an official at the finance ministry and another man reported to be behind a gold theft, the interior ministry said.

An interior ministry spokesman announced earlier on Friday that 14 bars of gold and eight kilograms of other gold were stolen from the ministry of finance's coinage department.

However, the interior ministry has now said the perpetrators were arrested in possession of 31 gold bars, four metal bars, a number of commemorative coins and some other gold.

Interior ministry investigations revealed that the theft took place on 7 September and was carried out by plumber Wael Mohamed, who had conspired with a coinage department official.

The coinage department official hid the gold bars in his office for his accomplice to remove.

"The official supplied the necessary keys so the thief could access the gold without being spotted by CCTV," the interior ministry statement read.

The arrested defendants admitted that they are the perpetrators of the robbery.They will be presented to the general prosecution for further investigations.

The 53-year-old custodian of Egypt's gold reserves, Ramadan Bakry, discovered the robbery on Thursday night and immediately notified the interior ministry.

The prosecution has earlier ordered his arrest for a four-day period pending investigation, accusing him of embezzlement and negligence.

The prosecution will also summon the head of the local police station to question him about his tardiness in notifying the prosecution about the incident.

The interior ministry said it has formed a committee to unravel the details of the incident.

The finance minister has visited the site and called for security to be tightened across the ministry, state-owned news agency MENA reported.

He also said in a television interview that the perpetrators somehow knew the CCTV system was not functioning on the night.

 

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