The Interior Ministry said it requested the importation of 140,000 tear gas canisters from the US three months ago, but the shipment — estimated to be worth US$2.5 million — hasn’t yet arrived.
The move aims to protect public and private properties, the ministry said, adding that the shipment would not be used against peaceful protesters, but rioters.
Major General Hany Abdel Latif, the ministry’s spokesperson, told Al-Masry Al-Youm Sunday that the ministry requested the shipment as part of the ministry’s annual armament plan to confront rioting and assault on security forces, as well as important public and private properties.
Abdel Latif said such armament contracts conform to law, financial and administrative procedures, as well as international standards.
Al-Masry Al-Youm earlier reported that the shipment cost LE17 million. But according to official documents, the ministry stock had fewer canisters in stock until 28 January, when the ministry needed to import the tear gas amid renewed nationwide violence.
The Interior Ministry resorted to the Defense Ministry to transfer the shipment on board a military jet, as transporting it via ship would take a long time, according to a letter between the two ministries.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm