Egypt arrests spy network backed by Qatar

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-23 03:09:49|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian General Intelligence Agency said Wednesday the previously arrested spy network financed by Turkey was also supported by Qatar, official MENA news agency reported.

The 29-member spy ring worked upon directives from the Turkish intelligence which financed them with a clear Qatari support, said the intelligence investigations.

Earlier on Wednesday, Egypt's top prosecutor Nabil Sadeq ordered a 15-day detention of the 29 defendants, along with other fugitives, who are accused of espionage in favor of Turkey to harm Egypt's interests, joining a terrorist group, involved in money laundering and illegal currency trade and other charges.

Egypt's ties with Turkey have been tense since the Egyptian military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and later blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization, a move that has been officially rejected by Turkey that hosted fleeing Brotherhood members and supporters.

The investigations of Egypt's Homeland Security agency revealed that the 29 defendants and others passed international online calls through Turkey-hosted servers collecting information about negative and positive conditions inside Egypt to plot against the country from Turkey.

"The second direction is based on the establishment of media outlets and platforms aired from abroad using the collected information and date to make up fake news and rumors to turn the public opinion against the state institutions," said the investigations.

According to the investigations, the money gained from passing illegal international calls has been used in the establishment of such media platforms abroad and financing acts of aggression in Egypt.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian economy suffered shortage of foreign currency necessary for trade and imports.

The government accused the Brotherhood and its supporters of being engaged in the currency black market to maintain the dollar shortage and offering expatriates higher exchange rates to lure them against transferring foreign currency to Egyptian banks.