The Egyptian Parliament initially approved Monday the draft law amending the Penal Code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public officials and to impose severe penalties on child abductors due to the increasing cases of children abduction.
However, the final approval of parliament was postponed until two thirds of the parliament’s members agree.
The move to amend the Penal Code is part of Egypt’s commitment to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified in 2005. Egypt aims to strengthen its institutions to reduce corruption.
Since the bribery of public officials is not criminalized under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, amendments will be introduced to the Penalty Code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public employees.
Article 106 is added to the law; it states that if any foreign official or public international institution employee demands for himself, or for a third party, a gift, favor, or something of monetary value, or takes a gift or donation, to refrain from or perform one of his international duties, they shall be considered a bribe-taker. Punishment will be life in prison and a fine of not less than LE 500 and not more than double what he took or what he was promised to take.
Criminalizing this kind of bribery aims to make employees perform their public services for the public interests not to further their own interests, especially given that foreign workers, either in public sectors or governmental institutions, have marked an increase of 51.8 percent in 2015, according to a press statement issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in June 2016.
Moreover, due to the increasing cases of children and women abduction in Egypt for the purpose of human and organ trafficking, articles 283, 289 and 290 in the Penalty Code were amended as they could allow for impunity of some offenders.