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Captured Egypt plane raises doubts officials are smuggling funds

August 17, 2023 at 11:41 am

Zambia detains plane from Egypt with counterfeit gold [Social Media]

The incident of the detention of a private plane coming from Egypt to Zambia carrying millions of dollars in addition to counterfeit gold bars, shed light on the issue of money smuggling during the rule of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s regime. An expert has estimated that more than half a trillion dollars have been smuggled out of the country.

The independent Egypt Technocrats group documented 356 secret companies, along with their addresses and names, inside Egyptian territories, that own safe havens outside the country. Their data cannot be followed, nor can their owners be revealed and through these companies, money laundering operations can take place.

As part of his participation in the audio chat room created by the group on the Club House app, called “Smuggling Money from Egypt”, Dr Mahmoud Wahba said that the way in which the money was seized inside the private plane in Zambia indicates that its owners work in a primitive way.

He pointed out that the seized plane made 155 round trips to Egypt, which indicates that the process of removing money from the country is not the first of its kind, and it may have been repeated many times with different amounts of money.

He also said that money smuggling is an essential part of the nature of the military regimes that rule the country. He stressed the importance of bringing the case to the judicial authorities for consideration, whether inside or outside Egypt.

Wahba stressed there would be a possibility of pursuing the smuggled funds, which amounted to “about half a trillion dollars”, if the Sisi regime were to fall, with help from the US.

READ: Zambia seizes private plane from Egypt carrying $5.7m in cash

Egyptian actor, Amr Waked, said: “About two months ago, the authorities in Egypt announced the issuance of a law exempting gold imported into Egypt with travellers to Egyptian lands for a period of 6 months from customs.”

“Since the decision was issued, about 600 kilogrammes of gold entered Egypt, but the price of gold in the country did not decrease with its availability, which may indicate the existence of a ‘smuggling machine’,” he added.

On Tuesday, the authorities in Zambia announced the detention of a private plane that arrived from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, that was carrying $5.7 million, five pistols, seven magazines of ammunition, 126 rounds of ammunition, 602 pieces of gold weighing 127.2 kilogrammes and gold measuring equipment. They later discovered that the gold bars were actually made of copper, nickel, tin and zinc, according to Zambian Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe.

The incident comes after news circulated that officials in Egypt had been smuggling their money out of the country, fearing the collapse of the regime and the economy.