Former trade minister and daughter sentenced to 15 years in prison

On Wednesday Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the fugitive former Minister of Trade and Industry, along with his daughter Alia, to 15 years imprisonment and a collective fine of LE522 million.

Rachid and his daughter were sentenced in absentia. Both are believed to be residing in Dubai, after having fled Egypt during the January 25 Uprising of 2011 against President Hosni Mubarak and his inner circle of politicians.

The financial crimes perpetrated by Rachid and his daughter are said to have taken place between October 2003 and February 2011.

The state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA), citing judicial sources, reported that Rachid had “used his influence and the power of his position to generate illicit gains, amounting to some LE522 million.”

MENA also reported that Rachid had used confidential insider information to generate personal profits from the EFG-Hermes Holding Company.

The confidential details of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) were made available to Rachid, along with other information about bank loans and finances. The then-minister reportedly exploited this information through fraudulent means to increase his personal wealth.

As a wealthy private businessman, Rachid moved to join the ranks of Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) in the early 2000s, eventually gaining a place on the NDP’s Central Policies Committee, and was appointed Minister of Trade in July 2004 — a position he would hold until the 2011 Uprising.

On June 25, 2011, Rachid was sentenced to five years imprisonment after being found guilty of profiteering and squandering public funds. He was also ordered to pay a fine of LE9.385 million.

Egypt’s Illicit Gains Authority has been investigating Rachid’s accounts since he fled the country, and has reportedly sought Interpol intervention in apprehending both him and his daughter abroad.

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