Egypt to seize 66 'Muslim Brotherhood' companies

El-Sayed Gamal El-Deen, Thursday 17 Jul 2014

Muslim Brotherhood tycoon Hassan Malek's Istikbal among the firms targeted in an ongoing crackdown on the banned organisation's assets

Hassan Malek
Hassan Malek

The funds of 66 companies reportedly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood are to be seized by the Egyptian government, a committee tasked with appraising and freezing the funds of the banned organisation decided on Thursday.

The committee will inventory the companies Al-Farida, Sirar, Istikbal, Al-Ezz for trade and Malek for trade and clothing with the aim of taking hold of their respective managements.

Istikbal, Sirar and Malek for trade and clothing were owned by Brotherhood member Hassam Malek, a prominent Egyptian businessman long suspected of financing the organisation and whose assets were frozen prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

In 1992, Malek and fellow Brotherhood member and businessman Khairat El-Shater were prosecuted on charges of embezzlement through a joint IT venture called Salsabil and imprisoned for a year pending investigation. 

Once cleared of charges, Malek branched into the furniture industry, establishing two Egypt-based companies that rely on imports from Turkey: Istikbal and Sirar.

The government crackdown on Brotherhood members and their activities started last year following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the group.

The committee has thus far frozen the funds and taken control of over a thousand NGOs and nearly 100 schools allegedly affiliated with the group as well as seized the assets of over 700 Brotherhood leaders.

In June, the government seized two of Cairo's most prominent supermarkets – Seoudi and Zad – on claims that they were funded by Brotherhood figures. The government has since relinquished its hold on 60 percent of Zad's stores and two Seoudi branches.

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