January 4, 2018 / 6:29 PM / 17 days ago

Egypt detains 75 people in human trafficking probe

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian prosecutor has ordered the detention of 75 people following an investigation into suspected human trafficking, state media reported on Thursday.

A 14-month investigation by the Administrative Control Authority, the country’s anti-corruption body, found that the group was made of government officials, Egyptian citizens, and foreigners, state news agency MENA said.

Authorities arrested the defendants in raids across the country, from the capital Cairo to the northern city of Kafr el-Sheikh.

The probe showed that they were involved in “bribery, profiting from public office, forging official documents, and human trafficking” among a host of other offences.

Egypt passed legislation in 2016 to crack down on a growing smuggling industry along its northern seaboard. The law imposes prison terms and fines on those found guilty of smuggling potential migrants or acting as brokers or middlemen.

It also imposes prison sentences on those who provide shelter to trafficked migrants, and gather, transport or otherwise facilitate their journey.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Haitham Ahmed; Writing by Nadine Awadalla, Editing by William Maclean

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