A former Egyptian governor has been arrested and ordered detained for receiving a bribe to illegally transfer government-owned land in the affluent Cairo suburb of Maadi to a private company, state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday.
The former governor of now-dissolved Helwan Governorate Hazem El-Qowaidi* was arrested by the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies.
He is accused of receiving a Mercedes worth EGP 1 million (approx. $55,400) in return for directly transferring an 800 metre plot on upscale Road 9 in the Southern Cairo district, to a car company. Under Egyptian law, the governor should have invited bids for the land.
Prosecutors ordered the former official detained for 15 days pending investigation, on bail of EGP 2 million.
Helwan Governorate was created by presidential decree in 2008, but absorbed under Cairo Governorate following the 2011 revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. Egypt now comprises 27 govenorates.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has repeatedly stressed the importance of combating corruption within government bodies. In December, he hailed efforts by the Administrative Control Authority in this regard.
Egypt was ranked 108 of 176 countries in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.
*This story initially named the arrested man as Kadry Abu Hussien. This was incorrect; the former governor who was arrested was Hazem El-Qowaidi.
Ahram Online would like to apologise to Mr. Abu Hussien for this unintended error and for any inconvenience that this article may have caused him.