Hanafy Abdel Razek, con artists posing as a presidential advisor for five years - Ministry of Interior
CAIRO – 13 December 2021: The Ministry of Interior has released videos of people who were in a phone call that was “leaked” by a Youtuber affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood to show alleged corruption in state-funded projects, whereas they were scamming each other and impersonating non-existent presidential advisors, according to investigations.
Youtuber Abdullah al-Sharif, who fled Egypt around the ouster of late President Mohamed Morsi, built some 25 minutes around the call, which itself lasted for about nine minutes, garnering 2.5 million views since Dec. 9.
In the call, a woman called Mervat and a man who goes by General Farouk both pose as presidential advisors. The call purports severe corruption in national projects funded by the state, where “General Farouk” claims would award Mervat a construction tender in return for a commission.
When she tells him she was a lawyer and would like to double check how the paperwork works, he goes on to claim he has a cousin in the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, and that he has high-profile connections who work in the presidency. He even promises Mervat to give her a villa in the New Administrative Capital for only L.E. 750,000 instead of L.E.6 million because of “her rank as a presidential advisor.”
On Sunday, the Ministry of Interior released a video of the alleged woman, Mervat Mohamed Ali, where she says she is a lawyer who has worked in the field of construction and brokerage for a year due to financial difficulties. She adds that has known the man in the call since September, and that she posed as a presidential advisor in her interactions with him.
"I told him [General Farouk] I, too, work in the presidency and that with our relations we could make good profits in the construction field,” Ali, 53, says in the video.
Mervat Mohamed Ali, a woman who works in the field of construction & brokerage, says that she posed as a presidential advisor in a phone call with another con artist who impersonated a general who works as a presidential advisor.#Egypt | #عبدالله_الشريف #فضيحه_عبدالله_ترتر pic.twitter.com/eQ5njsrwVL— Egypt Today Magazine (@EgyptTodayMag) December 13, 2021
Hanafy Abdel Razek, the alleged bogus general and presidential advisor, also appeared in a video released by the police. The statement said Abdel Razek is a professional con artist who has been convicted in 22 cases of fraud, illegal excavation of antiquities, and manslaughter.
The alleged imposter says in the video he has been scamming people since his childhood, and that he has posed “General Farouk” for five years. He adds that he convinced people he was able to award construction tenders to certain brokers, so he gets a commission from them. He recorded phone calls between himself and so-called officials, where they speak to him in great respect, and sent these calls to businessmen and brokers to gain their trust.
He acknowledged he has spoken to Mervat Ali and that he has known her for three months and was shocked to find the phone call on Youtube.
“I’ve practiced fraud and antiquity excavation since I was a young… About five years ago I coined the name General Farouk al-Kady, I impersonated General Farouk al-Kady, who works in the presidency. After a while, I started to legalize this, I got the people who have lands and had problems and disputes over the land and resolve them," Abdel Razek, 61, said in the video.
"And then I started to further strengthen my relations with company owners by telling them I had contacts in the government that will finish this stuff for them and based on this I could take a commission. After that I’d take the recordings on my phone and send them to everybody to strengthen my relationship with them,” he added.
“About three months ago I got to know Mervat Mohamed Ali, a presidential advisor. I recorded a decent number of calls with her and sent one of them to everybody,” he continued.
In a third video, a broker called Wael Abdel Rahman said Abdel Razek told him he could facilitate any paperwork at any government agency since he is "a general working as a presidential advisor," and sent him a recording of the phone call with Mervat Ali.
Abdel Rahman, who said he was going through financial difficulties, contacted youtuber Abdullah al-Sharif and sent him the recording with a promise that he would get L.E. 10,000 via Western Union, although the money was never sent, according to Abdel Rahman.
“I told him I could send him more phone calls, but that was not true, I don’t have phone calls or else. He promised to send L.E.10,000 via Western Union, but he scammed me,” Abdel Rahman, 42, said in the video.
In screenshots of a Whatsapp exchange between Wael Abdel Rahman and Sharif, Abdel Rahman asks Sharif to send him an audio to make sure it was him. Then, Abdel Rahman asked him to help him if he managed to escape to Sudan, south of Egypt. Sharif tells him it is easy to travel to Turkey once he gets there. The dates of the messages are not included in the screenshots.
In one of the Whatsapp texts, Abdel Rahman tells Sharif "I am a living dead all the same." He asks him "could I get out with the help of our people in Nubia, Sudan and then off to any country with the help of one of your contacts?"
"Could you help me if I made it to Sudan?"
Sharid told him to have a valid passport, go to Sudan, and "from there, it is very easy to go to Turkey."