Egypt Seized $178M From Money Laundering, MOI Claim

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The counter narcotics and organised crime sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior has announced the seizure of 3.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($178 million) from money laundering crimes through drug trafficking over the course of a year.

Though the seizure may appear to be a victory for authorities, human rights observers have, in the past, pointed to a number of cases in which accusations of money laundering have been politically motivated.

In October 2016 military general turned President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came under fire when he appointed his brother as head of a government body to combat terrorist financing and money laundering, which exercised control over bank accounts of individuals or companies suspected of money laundering or supporting terrorism. The new unit was granted power to access bank accounts, freeze them and seize funds.

Al-Sisi’s brother, Ahmed Saeed Hussain Khalil, is a senior judge and was at the time deputy head of the Court of Cassation, which raised serious questions over nepotism and the independence of the judiciary, given their family connection.

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