Sex, Lies and Videotape in the Egyptian banking system
Desperate to lure foreign investment, the cash-strapped government of President Husni Mubarak seems more than ever resolved to fight administrative corruption in Egypt’s public banking sector. But what started as a trickle of scandals in is now nearly a flood.
An IMF report never made public was reportedly the trigger that provoked the government into launching large-scale investigations. Over the past two months, Egyptian authorities have put on trial over 30 people in top financial positions—senior government officials, bankers, businessmen and lawmakers stripped of their Parliamentary immunity—for allegedly carrying out illegal financial transactions.
Among the prosecuted are former managing director of Banque du Caire Muhammad Abu Al-Fath, former head of Misr Exterior Bank Abdullah Tayel, Member of Parliament and chairman of Board of Directors of Misr Exterior Bank Abdul-Wahab Quota and millionaire industrialist Tayseer Al-Hawari.
In addition, Egypt’s 'big four' state banks—National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and the Bank of Alexandria—have all seen their chief executives unseated. The executives were charged with approving loans without guarantees and held responsible for mismanagement of the Egyptian banking system.
The most sensational episode in Egypt’s latest anti-corruption drive was the arrest of prominent businessman Hussam Abul Fotouh, whose widespread business interests consist of over 35 companies including BMW Egypt, Daewoo Egypt, Land rover, Access Internet Services company as well as real estate and tourism holdings.
When police raided Abul Fotouh’s Cairo villa, looking for evidence to support charges of financial scams, they found personal sex tapes involving a well-known Egyptian belly dancer. Criminal charges against the magnate now involve not only loan fraud, but also customs smuggling and possession of illegal audiovisual equipment and unlicensed arms. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)