Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the detention of 29 Turkish suspected members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood over alleged spying, an action which was said to negates the country’s constitution.
The prosecution statement on Wednesday said the 29 illegally facilitated international calls made by people in Egypt through Turkish-based servers offered at discounted charges.
The statement accuses them of eavesdropping on the calls to gather information on conditions in Egypt that they passed onto Turkish intelligence.
Egypt’s ties with Turkey have been tensed since the Egyptian military removed former Islamist President, Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and later blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization, a move that has been officially rejected by Turkey that hosted fleeing Brotherhood members and supporters.
Egypt’s top prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, ordered a 15-day detention of the 29 defendants on Wednesday, along with other fugitives, who were accused of espionage in favor of Turkey to harm Egypt’s interests, joining a terrorist group, involved in money laundering and illegal currency trade and other charges.
The Egypt’s Homeland Security Agency alleged that the 29 defendants and others passed international online calls through Turkey-hosted servers collecting information about negative and positive conditions inside Egypt to plot against the country from Turkey.
The investigations conducted by the security agency revealed that the money gained from passing illegal international calls has been used in the establishment of such media platforms abroad and financing acts of aggression in Egypt.
Over the past few years, the Egyptian economy was said to have suffered shortage of foreign currency necessary for trade and imports.
The government accused the Brotherhood and its supporters of being engaged in the currency black market to maintain the dollar shortage and offering expatriates higher exchange rates to lure them against transferring foreign currency to Egyptian banks.