File photo: Hassan, a 65 year-old farmer harvests wheat on field in Fayoum, Egypt. (AP)
Egyptian businessman Rafaat Nossair, a defendant in the ongoing wheat corruption scandal, was released on Monday on EGP 500,000 bail after he paid off the EGP 77 million in state funds he was accused of stealing, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.
The office of the prosecutor-general stated earlier this month that its investigation into alleged corruption in the wheat procurement sector revealed that some EGP 533 million ($60 million) have been stolen by officials within the agriculture ministry in collusion with silo owners.
The prosecution says that the officials took government money slated for the buying of 222,000 tonnes of wheat from local farmers, but instead pocketed the cash while claiming that the purchase was made.
Prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek has also extended the detention period of another silo owner for 15 days pending investigations.
The prosecutor-general has issued a travel ban and frozen the assets of the defendants in the case.
A recent report by a fact-finding committee appointed by parliament has implicated former minister of supply Khaled Hanafi in the corruption scandal and recommends that he be prosecuted.
Hanafi resigned earlier this week over the scandal.