Egyptian authorities say they blocked Brotherhood financing scheme

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Egyptian authorities said on Thursday they had blocked a scheme aimed at financing the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and alleged a link to the imprisoned founder and former chairman of dairy and juice firm Juhayna , Safwan Thabet.

The scheme aimed to funnel funds using Thabet’s companies into “terrorist activities”, the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that $8.4 million and ammunition had been found in an apartment in Giza, across the Nile from central Cairo. It described Thabet as a “Brotherhood leader”.

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The Thabet family have denied any wrongdoing in statements on social media. A lawyer for Juhayna could not be reached.

Thabet was arrested in December, and his son Seifeldin was detained in February after taking over as chairman.

In a statement released on Monday, rights group Amnesty International said authorities were holding the men in conditions that amounted to torture after they refused to cede assets to a government-owned entity.

Amnesty said the authorities had failed to produce evidence for the alleged affiliation with the Brotherhood.

Juhayna is a household name in Egypt and the country’s largest dairy products and juice producer.

The Brotherhood has been subject to a sweeping crackdown since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led their ouster from power in 2013.

Juhayna continued to operate normally after Sisi became president the following year.

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