CAIRO: The General Department of Public Funds Crime’s Investigation Police arrested March 15 on accusations of fraud seven owners of agencies specialized in providing job opportunities to Egyptians abroad.
According to deputy Minister of Interior and head of the department Nagah Fawzy, the number of police reports filed by young people against those companies has increased recently, claiming they were conned and provided with fake visas in exchange for great amounts of money.
Investigations further revealed that the accused posted online announcements of job opportunities mainly in Gulf countries and some European countries and would then met with clients as business owners and sign fabricated contracts.
“The number of Egyptians working abroad is estimated between six and seven million immigrants, 75 percent of them in Gulf states, Jordan and Libya,” according to a report titled “Ten most important cases of Egyptians migration in 2013” by Ayman Zohry, specialized researcher and head of The Egyptian Society for Migration Studies.
The issue has been persistent in Egypt for years, as Public Funds Crime Investigations has been trying to fight the problem for years. “An owner of an agency providing job opportunities abroad was arrested, and his company’s licensed confiscated by the Minister of Manpower,” a published statement on their official website said on Sep. 8, 2008.
One of the prevailing aspects of the problem is illegal immigration, which has been increasing, especially through Egyptian north coasts towards European southern countries, which has also become an increased phenomenon not only by Egyptians but also by Syrian refugees in Egypt, the report stated.
Illegal immigration to Italy in particular has risen dramatically within the past years, and “sea arrivals to the country from Northern Africa more than tripled in 2013,” Reuter reported in January, with hundreds of migrants dying in the perilous cross in that month alone.
Zohry said that individual initiatives by the Egyptian government would “not reach definitive solutions,” and for that reason he requested “the establishment of a National Council of Immigration […] to implement the appropriate policies and follow up on their execution.”
Additional reporting by Mohamed Ibrahim.