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Egypt's former customs chief accused of accepting bribes to allow banned goods

The case is one of several corruption-related cases raised in recent months [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 December, 2018

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Gamal Abdelazim was arrested in July after just two months on the job.
Egypt's former customs authority chief was referred to a criminal court for allegedly accepting bribes to waive custom duties, an official at the public prosecution office said on Monday.

Gamal Abdelazim was arrested in July, after just two months on the job, on suspicion of accepting bribes to allow banned goods into the country without customs duties.

Abdelazim allegedly received more than 750,000 Egyptian pounds ($41,993) from customs clearance offices in exchange for services, the official at the public prosecution office said, adding that six other people had also been charged. A trial date has yet to be set.

The case is one of several corruption-related cases raised in recent months by Egypt's Administrative Control Authority against commodity and trade-related individuals, including the head of the state food-purchasing agency FIHC and officials at the ministry of supply.

Egyptians have long complained about high-level corruption, one of the central grievances of the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Last a week Egypt's former minister of justice was also detained by Egyptian security forces, according to judicial sources quoted by the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

Former Justice Minister Ahmed Suleiman, who served under President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, was detained in his home on 5 December, reported Anadolu.

He resigned shortly after the former president was overthrown.

The news was circulated on Twitter after tweets revealing the arrest were posted by former judges Ayman al-Wardani and Walid Sharabi.

The Egyptian Revolutionary Council confirmed the news, although Egypt's official authorities were yet to comment.

Since Morsi's overthrow, Egypt's government has led a far-reaching crackdown on dissent, including against journalists, activists and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hundreds of Morsi supporters have been sentenced to death, while the former president and top Brotherhood figures have also faced trial.

The UN and human rights groups have condemned Egypt's liberal use of death sentences, while Amnesty International have said men condemned to death were tortured into making confessions.

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