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Egypt prosecution detains finance ministry official over bribery charges

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Jan 2017
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File Photo: Egypt's Ministry of Finance (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's State Security Prosecution ordered on Sunday a four-day detention pending investigation for three people, including a Ministry of Finance official, for conducting an EGP 4 million bribe deal.

The official — the ministry's consultant for real estate taxes — is charged with receiving the bribe in exchange for manipulating the value of a parcel of land attached to a tourist resort.

The charged include the Ministry of Finance's consultant for real estate taxes, the contracting company's representative; and the person who allegedly mediated the bribe deal.

Prosecution investigations revealed that the case would have squandered EGP 500 million out of the country's general budget. 

Last December, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi spoke on the importance of fighting corruption in the country, saying that he himself would be ready to be held accountable in any case of wrongdoing.

In July 2016, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that Egypt had significantly improved its rank on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), but misstated the country's rank as 84 out of 176 countries. Transparency International reported Egypt's correct ranking as 88 for 2015.

Egypt lost one point in the 2015 CPI compared to the previous year, registering 36/100 points (with 100 equalling zero corruption), Transparency International reported. The organisation said political corruption remains a huge challenge for the government.

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