Renowned Egyptian businessman and ex-owner of Mehwar satellite channel Hassan Rateb was arrested on accusations of funding unlicensed excavation of antiquities, according to an official statement early on Tuesday.
Rateb, 74, is accused of providing millions of Egyptian pounds to an illegal excavation gang allegedly led by former MP Alaa Hassanin.
Police arrested Hassanin and 17 member of his gang last week along with 201 antiquities in a warehouse in Old Cairo.
A judge at a southern Cairo court ordered on Saturday renewing the detention of Hassanin and three others for 15 days pending investigation into the case.
The stealing, unlicensed excavation, spoiling, and smuggling of antiquities is punishable by hefty fines and tough prison sentences in Egypt that amount to life imprisonment (25 years in prison).
Rateb in 2017 officially accused Hassanin of defrauding him of $3 million in commercial transactions but later withdrew his complaint to the police after Hassanin seemingly returned the money, according to local reports.