Dokki Misdemeanor Court sentenced a shop owner based in the Giza suburb of Dokki to five years in jail and a financial fine of EGP 100,000 over charges of seizing commodity rations and refraining from selling them to citizens.
According to state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, police forces arrested Magdi Mohamed for refraining from selling sugar to a member of the Supply Investigations Bureau, who was disguised as an ordinary citizen.
Police forces arrested Mohamed after they inspected his shop and found 51 kilos of sugar, Al-Ahram reported.
Last week, General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered arrest warrants for a number of Muslim Brotherhood members allegedly accused of forming cells that planned to collect sugar from the Egyptian market, according to local media reports.
The current shortage of sugar in retail outlets began several days ago and came after the market price for sugar increased from EGP 6 to EGP 12. The sugar price increase stirred ire among the population especially when most have been struggling to adapt financially to the newly implemented value-added tax (VAT), which in some cases nearly doubled the prices of several commodities and services.
The “sugar cell” members are also accused of collecting large amounts of the now scarce commodity from markets. Three of the alleged cell members were arrested at a coffee shop in Nasr City.