A prosecutor in Cairo, Egypt, has ordered the release of a man on EGP 1,000 (£90, $115) bail after he was arrested for possessing an amount of sugar that was over the allowed limit for individuals to hold due to an ongoing sugar shortage.
The man, who works as a waiter at a café, was arrested by police in Heliopolis on Sunday as he walked down the street carrying 10 kilogrammes of sugar.
He was accused of stockpiling sugar with the intent of profiteering by selling it at a grocery at higher than the market price.
However, the man’s lawyer, Mohamed Naeem, says his client was carrying the sugar for use at his uncle’s cafe, not to a grocery as claimed by police.
The incident comes amid a widespread police operation targeting the sugar black market, with a hotline set up on Saturday for citizens to report incidents of stockpiling of sugar and rice.
Egypt's supply ministry said on Saturday that it will set the commercial price of subsidised sugar at EGP 6 (£0.50, $0.70) per kilogramme to be available at the ministry's sales outlets in a move that aims to regulate the market amid a price hike and a shortage of the essential commodity.
Major supermarkets in the country have stopped the sale of sugar to individuals above a certain limit.