Prosecutor: Egypt recovers LE13 billion in tax evasion cases

Egypt’s office of the public prosecutor announced Wednesday that it has recovered around LE12.6 billion and US$73 million in assets from tax evasion cases, as well as hundreds of feddans of state land and other real estate.

Among the real estate reclaimed is 250,000 square meters of Sharm el-Sheikh property owned by fugitive businessman Hussein Salem and a 42,000 square meter property owned by ousted President Mubarak’s ally Gamal Omar.

Salem has been in negotiations with the government to hand over a portion of his assets in exchange for settling corruption charges against him.

The prosecutor’s office also announced it had recovered 900 feddans of land in the Sharqiyah governorate, as well as 13 buildings and 16 residential units in New Cairo.

The money and properties were collected within the framework of investigations into the seizure of public assets and the tax evasion, the prosecution said.

Tax evasion costs Egypt’s treasury billions of pounds per year. According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, the country lost more than US$37.6 billion to illicit financial outflows from 2003 to 2012. In addition, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights estimates that as much as LE5 billion in tax revenue is lost each year due to companies using tax havens to shield their profits.

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