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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

House shines spotlight on Agriculture Ministry’s role in wheat scandal, Businessman implicated in scandal released on bail

House shines spotlight on Agriculture Ministry’s role in wheat corruption: House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal referred the House investigative committee’s report on the wheat scandal to Prosecutor General’s office yesterday. The news came as MPs turned their guns away from the Supply Ministry and toward a new target: The Agriculture Ministry. The wheat committee’s report, which was discussed on Monday in Parliament, had concluded that faulty methods in tallying agricultural land slated for domestic wheat harvest played a major role in the fraud, Al Borsa reports. Sources from the ministry tell the newspaper that the tally of potential wheat yields is frequently wrong. Hacking of the supply smart cards has cost the state EGP 1 bn, some MPs declared at the hearing, which expanded its scope to cover the entire bread subsidies system, Al Borsa reports.

Meanwhile, one silo owner was released on bail in wheat corruption case: Rafaat Nossair, remains a criminal defendant in the state’s investigation of allegations the government was defrauded in this year’s wheat harvest, was released on Monday after posting bail of EGP 500k and after returning EGP 77 mn in what prosecutors allege were state funds, Ahram Online reported citing Al Ahram. The detention of another private silo owner has been extended by 15 days by the prosecutor.

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