General prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered on Monday evening the detention of some members of the committees responsible for receiving and checking wheat delivered to silos in Fayoum governorate, following confirmation of a shortage in the delivered quantities.
This decision comes as part of the investigations carried out by the prosecution into the ‘wheat supplies’ case. The involvement of wheat silo owners in this scandal has caused a shortage of 31,000 tonnes of wheat with an estimated value of EGP 87m, state-run media outlets reported.
Moreover, those detained have also been banned from travel by Sadek, and their families’ assets may be frozen following the travel ban decision.
Two other defendants also accused of corruption in the wheat supplies case were recently granted release after paying huge sums of money to the government.
According to state media, the first defendant paid EGP 77m and the second paid nearly EGP 87m. The two defendants own wheat silos and also had to pay EGP 500,000 bail each.
The releases come shortly after the resignation of former minister of supply Khaled Hanafi. According to the prosecution authorities, wheat supply fraud is estimated to stand at EGP 533m.
The wheat supplies case appeared when the parliament’s Fact-Finding Committee published a report on corruption in wheat imports. Following the report, Hanafy resigned from his position.
The Ministry of Supply ranked again as the most corrupt institution—remained at the top of the list for several months in a row—registering 15 cases of the total 64, according to Partners for Transparency. In July, a case of fraud in wheat supplies was exposed at the national level, triggering investigations by the House of Representatives and the General Prosecution.