Egypt arrests Mubarak’s sons over stock market fraud

Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak, the sons of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, were arrested on Saturday for alleged manipulation of stock market before the 2011 uprising against their father’s dictatorial rule.

The brothers and three other defendants, who were on bail and facing travel ban, bought a large number of shares in a local bank after getting wind of its impending takeover by a Gulf-based investor. When share prices of the bank soared after the takeover, the defendants illegally gained more than $27.56 million by selling their shares.

In a surprise move, a judge of the Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday ordered their arrest although the trial related to insider trading is going on.

The five defendants have been moved to Cairo’s Tora Prison (above). The next hearing of the case is scheduled on October 20.

The Mubaraks have been in and out of jail after the 2011 uprising. They were detained in April, two months after the 18-day uprising. The three were jailed again in 2015 for misappropriating public money worth $11.5m earmarked for the restoration and maintenance of presidential palaces.

Gamal and Alaa were released after a brief jail term but Mubarak had to wait till last year to get his name cleared over the death of protesters.  All of them returned to the state the money embezzled.

Mubarak still faces investigation for corruption.

Gamal, who was considered as his father’s possible successor, may be the cause for the latest arrest amid the ongoing insider trading trial.

The warm reception accorded to Gamal during his public appearances has irked supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. El-Sissi, a former general, who uses an iron hand to suppress dissent and controls judiciary, may be viewing Gamal as a possible threat when his second and last tenure as president ends.

There are moves to grant el-Sissi a third term which may not succeed as he has failed to address problems facing the people such as rising poverty and unemployment.

International monitors have described Egypt’s presidential election early this year as a sham as el-Sissi eliminated every possible rival candidate.