Detained steel tycoon to face trial on money laundering charges

Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud on Thursday referred steel magnate Ahmed Ezz to the Cairo Criminal Court on charges of money laundering.

The public prosecution has accused Ezz of laundering LE6.429 billion of illegally acquired and public funds, state-run agency MENA reported.

Investigations found that Ezz had invested a portion of that amount in establishing new companies named after himself, his wife and his son. They also revealed that the businessman made several remittances to his own accounts and to companies he owned abroad.

Ezz is currently being tried before the Giza Criminal Court on charges of squandering funds at his company, Ezz Steel. Also involved in the same case are former Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Ibrahim Mohamedein and five other company officials.

In September, the Giza court sentenced Ezz to 10 years in prison on charges of illegally acquiring production licenses. The same case included defendants Amr Assal, the former head of the Industrial Development Authority, and Rachid Mohamed Rachid, another former minister of industry and foreign trade.

Ezz served as secretary of Mubarak's now-dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) and enjoyed nearly a complete monopoly over Egypt's steel industry, dominating three steel production companies, according to the Central Auditing Organization. He was also a close associate of Gamal Mubarak, the son of the former president.

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