The Partners for Transparency (PFT) NGO estimated that nearly EGP 140m were wasted as a result of corruption in the month of August only, including embezzlement, bribes, and waste of public funds. The report highlighted corruption incidents related to the Ministry of Finance.
Issued on Saturday, PFT’s report traced cases involving former and current officials accused of bribery and misusing power to embezzle money, mainly related to taxes and customs. “Corruption in those departments directly lead to waste of public funds at a time where the state budget needs to be boosted, not cut off,” the report added.
The Ministry of Finance, however, came third on PFT’s list of ministries that witnessed the highest number of cases. The ministries of supply and health topped the list—and have been in such leading ranks in PFT’s previous monthly reports.
Meanwhile, the report showed that 87% of reported cases were still pending investigation or trial. This comes as a number of arrests of public officials were made in August.
The head of the department in charge of preventing tax evasion at the Egyptian Tax Authority was arrested, along with a mediator, for attempting to collect bribes of EGP 2m. The money was from house renters in a North Coast resort, as the suspect pressured them into paying him or instead pay millions as fines to the government, a state-media report said.
Moreover, a Ministry of Finance Customs Authority auditor was arrested on bribery charges. He reportedly attempted to illegally seize EGP 47m from the authority’s budget for fiscal year 2015/2016 by bribing another official with EGP 2.5m.
Also in August, Alexandria’s deputy governor was arrested on charges of bribes. She reportedly accepted bribes from businessmen in exchange for not implementing decisions to remove unlicensed or encroaching buildings on state property or exempting them from paying fines for those infringements. According to a state-media report published after her interrogation, the crimes have led to the waste of an estimated EGP 10m.
The Ministry of Local Development has often come among ministries with high corruption incidents. In August, it ranked as fourth, after the Ministry of Finance.