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Egypt court acquits Hussein Salem of money laundering

Image of Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem [SecDev‏/Twitter]
Image of Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem [SecDev‏/Twitter]

The Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Judge Mohamed Amir Gadou, has acquitted businessman Hussein Salem and his two children Khaled and Majida of money laundering more than $2 billion and profiting from a deal to export Egyptian gas to Israel.

In October 2011 the Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Judge Ali Abu Bakr, sentenced Salim and his two children in absentia to seven years in prison and ordered them to pay fines of $4 billion and $6 million.

The Public Prosecution referred Hussein Salem and his two children to the Criminal Court after  investigations revealed that Salem received bank transfers from foreign and personal accounts and linked deposits to a portion of the money he obtained from exporting gas to Israel. He also made bank transfers inside and outside the country to his accounts in Spain, the USA, Singapore and Dubai.

The prosecution’s investigation into the case revealed that Salem gave his children some of the money. Salem kept the remaining part and smuggled it out of the country on his private plane.

Read: US withholds $290 million from Egypt over rights

His son Khaled exchanged part of the money that was transferred to him into Euros and Sterling while his daughter Magda used the money to make several bank transfers to her account at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

Magda and Khaled have also been acquitted.

Last year Salem and his family entered into a reconciliation agreement with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and gave the state 75 per cent of the total assets they own inside Egypt and abroad valued at 5.3 billion Egyptian pounds (over $596 million).

In February an Egyptian court ruled that the asset freeze on the business tycoon should be lifted. Salem was close to former president Hosni Mubarak who has also been acquitted of charges levelled against him.

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