"Brotherhood" supermarkets partially re-opened after government seizure

Ahram Online, Tuesday 8 Jul 2014

Two prominent Cairo supermarket chains - Zad and Seoudi - were shut down last month for alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Closed Seoudi market in Mohandeseen district (Photo: Salma Shukrallah)

A governmental committee tasked with appraising the monetary assets of the Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday that 60 percent of Zad supermarkets have re-opened and that the government trusteeship of Seoudi's Zamalek and Mohandiseen branches has ended, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

The committee met on Tuesday with Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab to discuss its task of confiscating assets belonging to the outlawed Brotherhood – deemed a terrorist organisation by authorities since last December.

During Tuesday's meeting, the panel said that it has seized the funds of 737 Brotherhood leaders in addition to placing the management of 1,050 NGOs and some 81 schools believed to be affiliated with the group into a government trusteeship.

Prosecutors have not released the names of the individuals, NGOs or companies whose funds were seized.

The committee has also said that it is currently working on reopening the rest of Zad's branches due to huge losses surpassing LE20 million during its closure.

As for Seoudi, the committee said that the government trusteeship ended after verifying that the Zamalek and Mohandiseen branches were not linked to the Brotherhood.

However, the rest of the Seoudi branches are still under the control of the government's Egyptian Food Industries Holding Company (FIH).

Earlier, the head of the committee, Ezzat Khamis, said its decision was based on the investigations of security and executive bodies.

Zad supermarket, which opened in 2012, is owned by prominent Brotherhood leader and businessman Khairat El-Shater, now in jail on a variety of charges. The market has 15 stores in Cairo's Nasr City district.

Seoudi, however, was established in 1938. Its approximately nine branches were owned by the businessman Abdel-Rahman Seoudi, who was arrested in 2007 and later acquitted of charges of belonging to the banned group.

The Brotherhood was banned by a court ruling in September of last year, two months after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Two legal actions and a challenge have been filed against the ruling, which remains unresolved.

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