Egyptian businessperson Hassan Rateb has been transferred to the 15 May Prison in southern Cairo, after a decision was issued to detain him for 15 days pending further investigation.
He stands accused of funding a former parliamentarian in efforts of illegal excavations for antiquities.
Rateb was questioned in the presence of his lawyer, during which the Public Prosecution confronted him with the accusations against him.
On Tuesday, the Public Prosecution confronted Rateb, alongside the second defendant Ezz El-Din Hassanein, brother of former parliamentarian Alaa Hassanein, for his involvement in financing the latter’s gang in archaeological excavations.
At the beginning of the interrogation, Ratib denied all the accusations against him, whilst the other accused, Ezz El-Din, admitted that it was Rateb who paid millions of pounds to finance the search for antiquities.
Following his initial denial, however, Rateb admitted that he had financed excavations for antiquities, and the prosecution confronted him with telephone messages and recorded phone calls that established his involvement in the excavations.
The evidence also established the accusations of smuggling, destruction, and money laundering. This included the defendant using his foreign nationality to conclude illegal deals including trafficking in antiquities and facilitating their smuggling outside the country.
Police forces last week arrested Hassanein for leading a gang involved in excavating for and dealing in antiquities. The prosecution ordered his detention for four days pending investigation.
Hassanein’s confessions confirmed that Rateb paid millions of Egyptian pounds in the search for antiquities.
The prosecution said it also detained 17 members of the gang he led for four days after they were caught red-handed while possessing 201 artefacts.