In less than 24 hours, Egyptian police claim to have “unraveled the mystery” surrounding Tuesday’s murder of the chief executive of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in Egypt.
Police said they had arrested a 49-year-old man suspected in killing Nevine Lotfy, a woman hailed for her contribution to the Arab and Egyptian banking sector.
Lotfy was found with multiple stabs inside her villa in a gated compound in 6th of October City, on the outskirts of Cairo.
Her shocking death prompted Egypt’s stock exchange on Tuesday to halt trading in ADIB shares for 10 minutes.
Prosecutors interrogated several people including Lotfy’s Indonesian housemaid, Egyptian chauffeur and security personnel of the compound.
But on Wednesday, authorities said suspect Kareem Saber Abdelaati had been arrested in ties to the killing, noting that he was previously accused in 10 other crimes related to robbery, drugs and possession of light weapons, according to a statement seen by Al Arabiya English.
The suspect was allegedly working as security guard for a year and a half in the same compound Lotfy resided.
Police said he knew that Lotfy lived on her own and was able to disable surveillance cameras.
He confessed upon his arrest that he infiltrated the victim’s house by breaking into her kitchen through the window, then grabbed a knife before he headed to her room to commit robbery.
The suspect got into a scuffle with the victim before he stabbed her several times, and stole some of her personal belongings.
Abdelaati was found with Lotfy's car, iPad, mobile phone and cash worth 5,000 dirhams ($1,361).
The news about Lotfy’s death shook the banking community, said Al-Masry El-Youm journalist Yousry al-Badry, in comments to Al Arabiya English.
“News of her death was shocking. We are speaking of a 64-year-old financial analyst, who is well-known in the field, being killed in one of Cairo’s gated residential communities.”
As the security situation today in Egypt remains tense, such attacks are rare and happen under certain circumstances, said political sociology professor Saeed Sadek to Al Arabiya English.
He said it could be that such attacks are increasing as a result of security shortfall as the country undergoes an economic meltdown.
“The crime rate is high in Egypt, and the begging rate too, due to the economic situation.”
“Nevertheless, robbery is a crime of opportunity,” he said. “Supposedly, not everyone is allowed to enter gated communities, but those who attacked her may have thought she was an easy target because she lived alone.”
Badry, who heads his newspaper’s crime section, said that observations show that the crime rate during the past five years remains low when compared to the post-revolution period between 2011 and 2012.