Friday, October 30, 2020

Egypt arrests Parliament member for accepting $19,000 bribe

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Egypt’s Administrative Control Authority on Monday arrested a parliament member over requesting and accepting an LE 300,000 ($19,070) bribe from a private real estate company to allow the implementation of one of its projects in the capital, Cairo.

The ACA, an authority in charge of probes related to civil servants, said in a statement that MP Gamal Al-Showeikh facilitated procedures for the drilling work of Next Home company, which cost around LE 7.5 million ($477,447) for the aforementioned bribe.

Showeikh had enjoyed immunity before it was lift by a Parliamentary vote on Sunday, to allow investigation and legal measures to be implemented.

According to Article 113 of the Constitution, Parliament members cannot be arrested or undergo any criminal measure in case they were not caught red handed, except after a permission from the parliament.

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The ACA, based on the General Prosecution’s decision, earlier issued an arrest warrant against a number of officials of the Muqattam district in Cairo for accepting an LE 1.5 million ($95,489) bribe from the same company to complete procedures of issuing licenses to the project.

In January this year, the ACA ordered the arrest of Abdel Azim Hussein, chief of the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) for allegedly accepting bribes, state’s media reported.

The country’s top prosecutor, Hamada al-Sawi, ordered State Security Prosecution to investigate the issue, Al-Ahram reported.

Investigations found that Hussein received money and gifts as a bribe through monitoring his telephone conversations and meetings, which were officially recorded.

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President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has always asserted on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down on any violation, especially corruption. He hailed the role played by the ACA on different occasions.

In July 2018, the authority arrested the head of the country’s Customs Authority on suspicion of accepting bribes to allow the entry of banned goods into the country.

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