Egypt asks Interpol to arrest businessman close to Mubarak

The Egyptian authorities requested Interpol on Monday to hand over Hussein Salem, a businessman and close personal friend to former President Hosni Mubarak, in light of the ongoing investigations concerning Egyptian exports of gas to Israel.

Judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the public prosecutor has instructed the Egyptian Interpol to contact its counterparts in a number of foreign countries to arrange for Salem’s arrest.

Salem is being investigated for financial violations involving his activities in the oil sector and the export of Egyptian gas to Israel.

Last week, an Egyptian court ordered the disclosure of secret bank accounts belonging to Salem, his wife and children in all banks operating in Egypt.

Former Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy is under scrutiny as part of the investigations. He faces charges of squandering public funds by making long-term gas supply contracts with a foreign state at rates below the international standard.

In 2005, Israel and Egypt signed a 15-year natural gas export deal, according to which Israel would receive 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas annually at discount prices. One official estimated the losses suffered by Egypt at US$500 million due to the deal.

During Egypt's 25 January Revolution, the supply of Egyptian gas to Israel was brought to a halt when the pipeline was damaged by an explosion.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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