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Cairo: Egyptian authorities said they have arrested a university official suspected of having embezzled 4 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh597 million).

The suspect served as a board of trustees head at a local university and was involved in a “criminal” activity of seizing public money and money laundering, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry added that investigations had revealed that the man, who also headed a company owning the university, took advantage of his job and illegally seized the institution’s assets and its financial and intellectual property rights valued at 4 billion Egyptian pounds.

The man was accused of tampering with the university’s budget and unlawfully cashed 65 million pounds in end-of-service gratuity upon sent to retirement, the ministry added in a statement.

Moreover, he had allegedly seized the university’s budget surplus and sought to launder the illicit gains by buying housing units in the name of his son living abroad, setting up companies and purchasing cars as well as depositing some of the money into bank accounts in his name and those of his family with the aim of covering it up.

After arrest, the man admitted to “criminal activity,” the ministry said without disclosing the name of the university in question. However, some unconfirmed reports claimed the institution was a private university near Cairo.