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Egypt's PM urges stiffer penalties against drug use by government employees

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Mar 2019
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Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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During a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly urged the government to implement harsher penalties on government employees who test positive for illicit drugs.

The PM's comments came after a railway employee being investigated for suspected culpability in last week's deadly train crash in Cairo tested positive for narcotics.

The accident at Cairo's Ramses railway station killed 22 people and injured dozens.

Madbouly also urged Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform Hala El-Said to revise administrative regulations in the civil service law to stiffen penalties against drug users employed in government facilities.

The PM also thanked former transportation minister Hisham Arafat, who resigned after the train accident, for his efforts during his time in office.

Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said that her ministry regularly works with all other ministries to carry out tests to detect drug abuse. 

According to the prosecution, prior to the crash, the driver of the rogue locomotive that caused the accident had dismounted, without turning off its engine, to speak with the conductor of a second train that had accidentally rammed the locomotive.

When the two trains disengaged, the now-unmanned locomotive moved at maximum speed towards the station until it collided with a concrete barrier at the end of the line and burst into flames.

The deputy head of parliament's transport committee has said that a train conductor involved in the fatal crash had previously been suspended from work for six months due to drug use.

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