Head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Mohamed Erfan
Head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Mohamed Erfan

ACA arrests head of FIHC, major officials in bribery case

Wed, May. 30, 2018
CAIRO – 30 May 2018: The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) – the regulatory body responsible for enforcing laws and regulations within state bodies – detained on Tuesday a number of high-profile officials over charges of corruption.

The suspects, including the chairperson of the Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC), his office manager, the Ministry of Supply’s media advisor, spokesperson and representative in parliament, were accused of accepting over LE 2m in bribes from a private food company in return for obtaining rights for supplying goods to the ministry.

Bribery and corruption have been rife in Egypt for long decades and was one of the main causes of the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi always asserted 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 117th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 32 points, down two points compared to 2016. A score of zero is highly corrupt while 100 is very clean.

Transparency International, the leading civil society organization fighting corruption worldwide, released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index in February.

A couple weeks before this report, the ACA detained the governor of Monufia Hesham Abdel Baset and two businessmen in Sadat City over charges of corruption.

Security sources said the governor was under the ACA surveillance for a while, and the authority managed to record phone calls by Abdel Baset proving that he agreed to take LE 2m as a bribe in return for land licenses.

The ACA’s efforts were very fruitful in the last years and prosecuted several high-profile cases which led to a noticeable decline in corruption incidents.

In April 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court sent former agriculture minister, Salah El Din Mahmoud Helal, and his office manager to 10 years in prison each on corruption charges.

The prosecution said in a court session that Helal and his office manager had accepted bribes including a luxury home, membership of an exclusive sports club, clothing from high-end fashion stores, and mobile phones.

In January 2017, former Secretary-General of Egypt's State Council Wael Shalaby committed suicide while in custody after his arrest for alleged corruption.

This incident came days after a procurement manager at the State Council, Gamal Al-Laban, was arrested and charged with receiving bribes worth millions of Egyptian pounds.
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