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Egypt: Illegal bank transfers foiled, gold smuggling network caught

January 7, 2023 at 10:42 am

Egyptian security forces. [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The Egyptian authorities have arrested a gang that smuggles gold and illegally transfers money outside the banking system. Several of its members reside in the Assiut governorate, while the others are based abroad.

According to a statement issued by the security services in the governorate, the three individuals arrested, who reside within the jurisdiction of the Dairout police station, were found in possession of 5.632 million Egyptian pounds (around $207,000) in their car.

After being confronted, they admitted that they had formed a gang specialising in trading foreign currency outside the scope of the banking market, along with five other individuals, three of whom reside outside the country.

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The suspects explained that the gang collects the savings of workers abroad and illegally sends them to their families inside the country in what is known as the “clearing” system.

In addition, the gang brings gold bullion from a country and resells it to gold dealers through the owner of a jewellery store, who is a member of the gang. They then use the takings to pay the transfers of Egyptians abroad and benefit from the difference in the buying and selling prices.

Later, two members of the gang were caught with the sum of 7.7 million pounds (about $283,500) and six smuggled gold bars weighing 3.450 kilograms. They confessed to their criminal activity in cooperation with the other suspects.

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