Egypt confiscates assets of 16 Muslim Brotherhood members: Committee
An Egyptian governmental committee tasked with appraising and seizing the funds of members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group announced on Thursday that it confiscated the assets of 16 Brotherhood members, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. Among those whose assets were confiscated are the children of Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi, who currently resides in Qatar.
In July, El-Qaradawi’s daughter and her husband Hossam Khalaf, a leading member of the Islamist Wasat Party, were arrested on charges of planning terrorist attacks on security forces. Cairo has been demanding that Qatar hand over the 90-year-old El-Qaradawi, who is wanted in connection with various criminal cases related to terrorism and inciting against the government.
The committee also announced the confiscation of the Cairo Portal company for publishing and distribution, which is owned by Abdel-Wahad Ashour and Sherif Ashour, who the committee says are members of the Brotherhood. Cairo Portal was blocked in Egypt in July but was later restored after being put under new administration. The committee also announced that it confiscated 37 branches of the popular Alef bookstore in several governorates including Cairo, Giza, Assiut, Ismailia, and Menoufiya.
Alef bookstore's parent company is owned by businessman and economist Omar El-Shenety, whose assets are currently frozen over suspicions that he is a member of the Brotherhood. The cultural adviser of Alef Emad Adly told Al-Ahram Arabic website that the bookstores are still operational and that head of the Egyptian Publishers Union Adel El-Masry issued a statement saying that the chain has no legal or financial problems.
Adly added that confiscation order is to ensure that the bookstore's shareholders are not members of the Brotherhood. The committee has delegated the state-owned Akhbar Al-Youm investment company to manage Alef bookstore. Akhbar Al-Youm will also manage Business News company, which owns and manages Daily News Egypt, the Business Media group for advertising and the Capital Markets institute.
Business News company, which also owns El-Borsa News, was confiscated in December after one of its shareholders, Mostafa Sakr, was officially accused of being a member of the Brotherhood. The committee also said that it is putting under new administration 11 formerly Brotherhood-owned schools that have been seized in recent years.