Middle East

Egypt house speaker wants illegal currency dealers executed

  • FILE -- In this Jan. 10, 2016, file photo, law professor Ali Abdel-Al of the "Supporting Egypt" coalition waves after he was elected Speaker of Egypt's parliament, in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted the country’s parliament speaker as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as justifying his wish for capital punishment because, he said, Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. (Mohamed El Maymony, El -Shorouk Newspaper via AP, File)

    FILE -- In this Jan. 10, 2016, file photo, law professor Ali Abdel-Al of the "Supporting Egypt" coalition waves after he was elected Speaker of Egypt's parliament, in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted the country’s parliament speaker as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as justifying his wish for capital punishment because, he said, Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. (Mohamed El Maymony, El -Shorouk Newspaper via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this March 14, 2016 file photo, a man counts U.S dollars at an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted Ali Abdel-Al, the country’s parliament speaker, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al as saying that Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. Abdel-Al, has also called for the closure across the country of all foreign exchange bureaus -- which are accused of pushing down the value of the Egyptian pound, describing them as a “cancer” in the nation’s economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

    FILE -- In this March 14, 2016 file photo, a man counts U.S dollars at an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted Ali Abdel-Al, the country’s parliament speaker, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al as saying that Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. Abdel-Al, has also called for the closure across the country of all foreign exchange bureaus -- which are accused of pushing down the value of the Egyptian pound, describing them as a “cancer” in the nation’s economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Egyptians walk past a currency exchange office in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted Ali Abdel-Al, the country’s parliament speaker, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al as saying that Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. Abdel-Al, has also called for the closure across the country of all foreign exchange bureaus -- which are accused of pushing down the value of the Egyptian pound, describing them as a “cancer” in the nation’s economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

    FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Egyptians walk past a currency exchange office in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, quoted Ali Abdel-Al, the country’s parliament speaker, in its Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 edition, as saying he wished new legislation toughening punishments for illegal foreign currency trading would include the death penalty. The newspaper quoted Abdel-Al as saying that Egypt is subjected to an “economic war” and a “conspiracy” that must be confronted. Abdel-Al, has also called for the closure across the country of all foreign exchange bureaus -- which are accused of pushing down the value of the Egyptian pound, describing them as a “cancer” in the nation’s economy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

Egypt's flagship state newspaper is quoting the country's parliament speaker as saying that illegal currency dealers should be executed.

Ali Abdel-Al's call for capital punishment came after lawmakers voted on Tuesday to toughen fines and prison terms for illegal trading in foreign currency. His remarks were published in Al-Ahram's Wednesday edition.

Offenders will now face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 5 million pounds ($570,000).

He justified his wish to see capital punishment introduced for foreign currency offences by saying that Egypt has been subjected to an "economic war" and a "conspiracy" that must be decisively confronted.

Egypt, which is heavily dependent on imports, is facing an acute foreign currency shortage.