Egypt Seizes Brotherhood-Owned Retail Stores
Egyptian authorities on Sunday seized two retail outlets owned by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, part of the ongoing crackdown against the group since its president Mohammed Morsi was ousted last year.
According to the AFP news agency, the businesses targeted were the Seoudi supermarket chain and Zad department store, respectively owned by Abdel Rahman Seoudi and Khairat al-Shater -- both leaders of the Brotherhood.
"Security forces are implementing the law," Cairo's police chief, Brigadier General Ali al-Demerdash, said in relation to the moves.
"A committee formed in accordance with a court ruling decided to seize Zad, which is owned by Khairat al-Shater, and Seoudi, which is owned by Abdel Rahman Seoudi, because the two leaders are financing the Muslim Brotherhood," he told reporters, according to AFP.
A court in September banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered its assets seized. It also prohibited any institution branching out from or belonging to the Islamist movement.
The group has also been blacklisted as a "terrorist organization" in Egypt, after the country’s temporary authorities linked it with a series of terrorist attacks that occurred after Morsi’s ouster.
Shater, the Brotherhood's number two who headed its financial affairs, is behind bars and on trial for a range of charges, some of them punishable by death.
He was arrested along with Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie following the ouster of Morsi in July 2013.
Seoudi is a wealthy businessman but little is known about his role in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since Morsi's ouster the Brotherhood it has faced a brutal police crackdown, with more than 1,400 of its supporters killed in street clashes, and its top leaders including Morsi have been put on trail.
The two medium-sized supermarket chains had operations in Cairo, selling food and beverages, noted AFP.
Dozens of masked policemen were seen stopping customers from entering a Seoudi outlet in central Cairo on Sunday.
"They came and ordered us (employees) all out... yes, the chain is owned by a Muslim Brotherhood member, but we sell food and beverages, not politics," said a manager of the store.
Demerdash said the two retail outlets would be handed over to the government once all legal formalities were completed.