Safaga port - File Photo Safaga port - File Photo

ACA arrests customs official on smuggling attempt

Wed, Jul. 18, 2018
CAIRO - 18 July 2018: A customs officer at Safaga port was arrested on Wednesday by the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) on counts of smuggling large quantities of customs-free perfume, cigarettes and appliances.

The investigation revealed that the defendant attempted to get the above mentioned goods through the customs department using his private car after he purchased them from the duty free.

During the investigations, the defendant admitted committing such offence and was referred to the prosecution.

Meanwhile, 69 public servants in Luxor’s Housing and Utilities department were referred to prosecution due to being absent from their work without notice.

Earlier in July, Head of Egypt’s Customs Authority, Gamal Abdel Azeem, was arrested over accusations of receiving bribe.

The sources added that Abdel Azeem reportedly received a LE 1 million bribe from an Egyptian textile importer in exchange for finishing his customs releasing procedures as fast as possible; investigations are still underway.

In light of the Administrative Control Authority's (ACA) anti-corruption crackdown, a number of parliamentarians push for a national strategy to combat corruption.

Calling for the implementation of the said strategy, Sherif reckoned that the strategy must be buoyed up by a league of legislatives to facilitate the ACA and other relevant bodies' mission in purging the country of corruption.

During the Parliament’s first session, Sherif added that there was an extant bill, which was submitted earlier to the Parliament’s speaker and was mainly concerned with providing legal protection to people that come forward to report corruption cases, adding that the bill was put on hold pending the pertinent security authorities’ approval.

He pointed out that there is another anti-corruption draft law that imposes severe penalties on corruption criminals.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and were among the main causes for the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has always stressed on applying strict measures within the government institutions to crack down any violation. He hailed the role played by the ACA in different occasions.

Egypt ranked 108th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 34 points, down two points compared to 2015. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.
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