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Transparency International says corruption in Egypt “still high”

Transparency International said on Wednesday that  “Corruption levels in Egypt are still high in the absence of a real political will to fight it”, in its Corruption Perception Index 2016.

The international watchdog referred in its report to the sacking of former top auditor Hisham Genina saying that “the government violated the independence of auditing institutions” by removing Geneina from his position and sentencing him “for publicly exposing how much corruption has cost Egypt in the past four years.”

The former head of the Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) was sacked in March 2016 by a presidential decree after State Security Prosecution issued a statement saying that Geneina’s claims on the size of governmental corruption were “false”.

Geneina had told Egyptian media outlets months earlier that the size of governmental corruption during the period between 2012 and 2015 was EGP 600 billion. He said that his statements were based on findings of a detailed study conducted by the CAO.

The CAO monitors financial institutions and government bodies and falls directly under the jurisdiction of the presidency.

Several cases of governmental corruption have surfaced in recent months.

Earlier in January the adviser to the finance minister over accusations of receiving a bribe worth EGP1milion.

This comes few weeks after the head of the procurement department at the State Council Gamal Ibrahim El-Laban was arrested while receiving a bribe and detained pending investigations.

The police seized EGP 24 million, $4 million, EUR 2 million and SAR 1 million from Laban’s house, in addition to gold accessories and gifts.

The council’s secretary general Wael Shalaby was arrested over involvement in the case. He was found dead in his cell after having hanged himself on Jan 2.

In August 2016, former supply minister Khaled Hanafi resigned after a corruption case involving domestic supplies of wheat was discovered in the ministry.

Egypt ranked 108 out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016 with a score of 34 on a scale where 0 means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean.

The score marks a deterioration from the year before when Egypt scored 36 and ranked 88 out of 168 countries.

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