Hassan Rateb Image Credit: Facebook

Cairo: Well-known Egyptian businessman, Hassan Rateb, has been arrested and remanded on charges of involvement in illegal trade in antiquities and their excavations, local media reported.

Rateb, a cement industrialist, and the owner of the satellite TV Al Mehwar and the Sinai University, had been arrested on Tuesday in connection with a high-profile case dubbed in the media as the “big antiquity case”.

Last week, Egyptian police arrested ex-lawmaker Alaa Hassanein and three others on suspicion of illegal antiquity excavations and trafficking. More than 200 artifacts were found in their possession, according to Egyptian media.

Investigations showed that Rateb had pumped millions of pounds into the archaeological excavations carried out by the suspects, Egyptian media said

Prosecutors ordered the 74-year-old mogul be kept in custody for four days pending further interrogation.

They also ordered the formation of a committee of experts to determine the authenticity of the artifacts seized with the racket.