Public prosecutor detains six petroleum sector officials

Public Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud on Tuesday ordered the detention of six officials from the Misr Petroleum Company for 15 days pending investigation.

They are accused of selling petroleum products on the black market, causing the state-run company to lose around LE105 million.

The Ismailia Prosecution had received several reports stating that the defendants sold subsidized benzene, diesel and kerosene. It immediately formed a technical committee of experts to examine the matter.

The suspects are charged with facilitating the acquisition of petroleum products and squandering public funds.

Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Monday that the Administrative Control Authority in Suez is following the case. It added that early investigations have implicated nine officials, among them the former chairman of the board of the company and the general manager of Suez Canal area.

Authorities announce repeatedly that they have seized huge quantities of fuel that smugglers intended to sell on the black market.

Egypt has been witnessing recurrent fuel shortages since the popular uprising which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Fights, and sometimes killings, are often reported as citizens vie for limited supplies.

The government has unveiled its intention to cut fuel subsidies, of which businesses are the main beneficiaries. Ordinary citizens, the government says, would not be affected by the cuts.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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