September 7, 2019

Last week the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Ali, owner of Amlak Co. one of the leading companies in the contracting industry in Egypt, published a video in which he said that the Armed Forces and the president are wasting hundreds of millions of pounds of public money through corruption. He broadcast the video on his Facebook page and it received millions of views and tens of thousands of shares.

The video raised many questions, and then Facebook deleted the video for no obvious reason.

Ali said that he had to run away from Egypt to Spain because he was afraid of his children being punished after a conflict arose between him and army officials. He demanded officials pay him EGP 220 million for business he implemented on behalf of the army. Confirming his credibility, Ali explained that he used to work with the Egyptian Army implementing constructions for 15 years, including building al-Sisi’s house when he was defence minister.

He emphasised that he was vetted by the National Security, the Military Intelligence and the presidency before he started his business with the army. He also emphasised that he isn’t a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and he isn’t interested in politics, but he worked as an actor. He is only speaking out because of the money he is owed by the army.

EGP 2 billion hotel as a courtesy

Ali said that his story started when the Armed Forces Engineering Authority assigned him to build a huge hotel affiliated to the Military Intelligence called “Triumph” located in El-Shouyfat in the upscale Fifth Settlement district of New Cairo. When Ali inquired about why it was happening so quickly, without a feasibility study for the EGP 2 billion project which was located in a touristic area where many hotels existed already, the leaders of the army told him that the project was to be undertaken under the directions of the president and he must begin immediately.

He added that he found out later that the hotel is a courtesy of a military general called Sherif Salah, a close friend of al-Sisi, and he wanted to build the hotel in front of his house. The businessman emphasised that the Armed Forces Engineering Authority assigned him the project through a direct order instead of a multi-company tender, which is considered the core of true corruption, according to Ali.

Then he indicated that he received the budget of the project as bank loans guaranteed by the army. Ali said that he is a victim of a conflict between the Military Intelligence, the owner, and the Armed Forces Engineering Authority as a supervisor. General Sherif decided to pause the project until the feasibility studies and designs were completed, which took a year, but the Armed Forces Engineering Authority forced the general not to withdraw the workers from the location to avoid the president from getting angry. Accordingly, it caused an EGP 220 million loss for Ali, and the Armed Forces Engineering Authority refuses to pay.

EGP 250 million for al-Sisi

Ali also said that the army ordered him unexpectedly to move his workers to al-Mamurah in Alexandria to build a palace for the president to spend his Eid vacation. He added that it cost EGP 250 million without furniture and he indicated that Intisar, the president’s wife, asked for additional modifications costing EGP 25 million. Then he explained that the army issued an advance for him to build the villa quickly, then adjusted the contract with him to reduce the construction cost to EGP 120 million to avoid the supervision of the Central Auditing Organisation.

He added that he organised the ceremony of the new corridor of the Suez Canal that cost around EGP 50 to 60 million, and that the army owe him EGP 5 million of the expenses of the ceremony which hasn’t been paid yet.

Ali brought charges against the president and the army of lying and wasting public money for building dozens of villas and palaces in useless projects.