Cairo: Egyptian authorities had cracked down on 19 businesses secretly operated by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for inciting unrest in the country, and arrested eight collaborators, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
The crackdown comes a week before the sixth anniversary of the army’s ouster of president Mohammad Mursi, a senior Brotherhood official, following enormous street protests against his rule.
The ministry added that Egypt’s National Security Service had detected a “hostile” plot by fugitive Brotherhood leaders abroad in collaboration with loyalists at home.
“The plot, dubbed the ‘Hope Plan’, was based on unifying ranks,and providing financial support from revenues of some economic entities secretly run by the group’s leaderships and loyal inciting elements to target the state and its institutions,” the ministry said in a statement.
Eight people were arrested in connection with the plot. Five other fugitives, including dissident Ayman Nour who is residing in Turkey, are wanted over involvement in the same case. They include two Brotherhood officials and two loyal television anchors based in Turkey.
The clampdown had targeted 19 businesses secretly operated by Brotherhood officials and loyalists with their investments and transactions estimated at about 250 million Egyptian pounds (Dh55.5 million), according to the ministry.
Related documents, unspecified cash money and equipment were seized in the police raids.
Egyptian authorities designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation months after Mursi’s overthrow, accusing the group of involvement in violence and terrorism.
Dozens of Brotherhood’s businesses and associations have since been confiscated.