Egypt prosecution orders detention of suspects involved in local wheat procurement corruption

Ahram Online , Thursday 14 Jul 2016

File Photo: A bird flies over a wheat field, in Qalubiyah, North Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Egypt's General Prosecutor ordered on Thursday the detention of silo owners involved in local wheat procurement corruption, as well as the members of the governmental committee tasked of receiving the wheat.

According to an official statement released by the General Prosecutor's office, top prosecutor Nabil Sadek also imposed a travel ban on the defendants.

The statement added that the defendants face charges of "seizing public funds, forging official documents, and undermining the Egyptian economy and national security of the country".

The statement by the General Prosecutor's office referred to investigations conducted by the public funds prosecutor which revealed that the local wheat was procured by the government on documents, but never delivered.

According to investigations, the defendants replaced the local wheat with imported wheat that was lower in price and quality and illicitly seized the funds resulting from the difference in prices between the two shipments.

The top prosecutor also issued an arrest warrant for the defendants pending trial and froze all of their assets and their families.

Egypt has procured five million tons of domestic wheat, around 25 percent more than the targeted amount for this year.

A parliamentary commission formed at the end of June has been tasked with looking into allegations that local wheat procurement figures are inflated, which may reveal further corruption.

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