File Photo: Sharm el-Sheikh, December 6, 2010 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's tourism ministry announced on Monday that it was investigating the alleged rape of a British holidaymaker in the Sinai resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
“We are following the case with the British embassy and local tourism police, and the case is currently under investigation,” tourism ministry spokesperson Rasha El-Azazy told Ahram Online.
A severe punishment will be imposed if the ministry confirms the crime's circumstances, El-Azazy added.
The victim, a businesswoman in her 40s, says she was raped by a security guard at a five-star hotel in the Red Sea resort town, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
The guard was escorting the woman back to the hotel when he allegedly pulled her into her bedroom and subjected her to the brutal assault, according to the Daily Mail.
The woman has since left Egypt.
The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office says reports of sexual assault against British nationals in Egypt have increased since the January 2011 uprising. In 2012, the office handled 23 cases of sexual assault and six cases of rape.
In May 2013, Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou told Ahram Online that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists, arguing that the behaviour would have a negative impact on the country's reputation.
The tourism ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. There have also been three recorded rapes.