The Illicit Gains Authority affiliated to the Justice Ministry announced Thursday the seizure of funds and property of 18 defendants in the wheat import corruption case.
The authority has referred the decision to the criminal court to decide on whether to uphold or reverse it.
The defendants include 4 businessmen who own wheat silos and 14 officials from the Ministry of Supply.
The case started when the Illicit Gains Authority received reports that showed manipulation in the recorded amounts of wheat imported by the supply ministry.
Wheat millers and traders told Reuters that the high figure was a result of private suppliers misreporting their stocks to collect government payments for highly subsidized local wheat that was not actually in their silos.
In the years 2011 and 2012, the official stores of wheat in Egypt amounted to 9.5 million tons, droping to 7.5 million tons in 2013; they then suddenly shot up to 10.5 million tons in 2014 and 2015, said member of parliament (MP) Yasser Omar in an earlier statement in July.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm