Muslim Brotherhood out-foxed by alleged gang lord
A notorious alleged gangland boss in Egypt has revealed his corrupt relationship with the government of former President Hosni Mubarak and threatened to expose senior members of the Muslim Brotherland, local media reported Tuesday.
Sabri Helmi, known to Egyptians as Nakhnoukh, was arrested was arrested with 16 others in a Friday raid on his Alexandria home. He faces charges of thuggery, illegal possession of arms and explosives, drug dealing, operating a prostitution network and keeping wild animals without permission.
In an interview with al-Mesryoon newspaper, he admitted to rigging election ballots throughout the past decade on behalf of President Mubarak, who was deposed last year after widespread ‘Arab Spring’ street protests.
“I am the one who led the electoral process since year 2000 and I used thousands of my men to get the job done,” Nakhnoukh told the newspaper.
Nakhnoukh vowed to get back at the Muslim Brotherhood for prodding the Interior Ministry to target him, and threatened to expose several senior members in the starting with Mohamed al-Beltagi, a prominent member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, and member of the Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting the new constitution.
“I have CDs and documents about several of them and they know themselves very well. I am not going to be anybody’s scapegoat,” he reportedly said. “I will soon reveal a CD I have of Beltagi. It is time that masks fall and people appear for what they really are.”
In the wake of the interview, Beltagi said he will not respond to Nakhnouk’s allegations.
“I will not respond to a criminal and a thug supplier who admitted to having been one of the former regime’s tools for crushing opposition,” he wrote on his page on the social networking website Facebook.
Nakhnoukh accused the Interior Ministry of arresting him to please the Muslim Brotherhood, who allegedly wanted to retaliate for his close ties with the former regime.
“I have always maintained very strong ties with the Ministry of Interior at the time of Habib al-Adli. Ministry officials used to visit me in my mansion in Alexandria. What has changed now?”
Nakhnoukh reportedly justified his past actions serving the “boss,” Mubarak, and safeguarding the interests of other top officials.
“Those were the people who ran the country and I am serving the country when I protect them,” he said.
Nakhnoukh reportedly added that his exceptional skills made the country’s top officials come to him for help
“Take for example former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly. He knew how powerful and well-connected I am and that is why he assigned me the mission of securing elections,” he told the paper.
Nakhnoukh also reportedly confirmed he had told prosecutors that he had been “no less than a head of state” in Egypt.
“I have never worked under anybody’s supervision and I have never been afraid of anything or anyone. All those who worked with me obeyed me all the time,” the paper quoted him as saying.
In the interview, he denied drug trafficking and arms dealing charges: “The arms seized at my house were for personal protection and for my men to use. Is there a head of state that does not need protection?”
He also reportedly spoke of his nickname, “desert fox” for his shrewdness and planning skills: “I am a man with a thousand brains and it is not my fault that I inspire awe in this way.”
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