Public funds prosecution investigates charges levelled against former minister

Sunday 28-08-2016 09:08 PM

Farmers harvest wheat on Qalyub farm in the El-Kalubia governorate, northeast of Cairo, Egypt May 1, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO, Aug 28 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s public funds prosecution investigated on Sunday charges levelled against former minister of supply accusing him of corruption and involvement in fraudulent wheat case.

Parliament member Moustafa Bakri levelled the charges against former Minister Khaled Hanafi and accused him of facilitating seizure and wasting public funds, collusion with wheat silos’ owners and harming the economy and national security. 

He demanded that Hanafi to be banned from travel and to be summoned before the prosecution to hear his statements.

The prosecution is yet to decide on summoning the former minister. 

Hanafi resigned on Thursday over corruption allegations.

He was largely criticised after details about an unusually high local wheat procurement figure prompted widespread fraud allegations from top industry officials, traders and parliamentarians.

Earlier in August, the prosecution general ordered the detention of 13 defendants over allegations of fraud in local wheat procurement.

Local wheat suppliers in cooperation with government employees falsified documents to claim EGP621 million worth of grain, about 221,800 tonnes, that does not exist, according to a statement by the prosecution at the time.

The prosecution said  then that the defendants, who also include silo and storage area owners, unlawfully obtained EGP533 million using the forged documents.

Egypt bought nearly 5 million tonnes of local wheat from local suppliers in the latest procurement season which ended in June. 

After Hanafi’s resignation, trade minister Tarek Kabil was assigned to conduct the affairs of the Ministry of Supply until the appointment of a new minister.

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