Ahmed Ezz, an Egyptian steel magnate, has been fined almost 20 billion Egyptian pounds ($3 billion) and sentenced to seven years in prison for money-laundering today, Al Arabiya reports.Ezz was once one of the richest men in Egypt, with a personal fortune estimated at $1.5 billion. He used his money to enter into politics and become close to General Hosni Mubarak’s government, eventually becoming chief whip of the now-defunct National Democratic Party.
Ezz was arrested after Egypt’s January 2011 “Arab Spring” and is already serving a 10 year jail term for corruption. His power has been seen by many as a symbol of the cosy relationship between big business and General Mubarak.
In February 2011 the New York Times profiled him, detailing how his buildings had specifically been targeted for vandalism during the chaos in Cairo, and his name featured prominently in chants in Tahrir Square. “Ahmed Ezz sucks the blood of the people,” one student told the Times.
Ezz denies any wrongdoing but has quit the boards of Ezz Steel and its Ezz Dekheila Steel.
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