Home » Egyptian tycoon Safwan Thabet and son freed after two years of detention

Egyptian tycoon Safwan Thabet and son freed after two years of detention

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Safwan Thabet

Safwan Thabet, a well-known Egyptian businessman who founded and previously led Juhayna Food Industries, and his son Seifeldin Thabet were released from detention in Egypt on Saturday.

The news of their release was first announced by Thabet’s daughter, Mariam Safwan Thabet, who had been actively campaigning for their freedom on social media.

The release of the two businessmen came after nearly two years of detention, during which they were accused of supporting a terrorist group and belonging to and funding a terrorist organization associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The charges against them also included assisting attacks on the army and police troops and institutions with the intention of destroying the country’s economy.

The Thabet family has denied these accusations on multiple occasions and the two men were never convicted. However, the case against them had not been closed. As of the time of this report, no official statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has been released regarding the release.

The detention of the Thabets was felt by the business community. The market value of Safwan Thabet’s 50.07-percent stake in Juhayna Food Industries, an Egyptian dairy, juice, and cooking product manufacturer that he founded in 1983, decreased by over $31 million due to the depreciation of the Egyptian dollar.

The arrest of the Egyptian multimillionaire businessman in December 2020 also led to his son Seifeldin Thabet, taking over the helm of the company before he too was detained in February 2021. Additionally, the family had pleaded for their release partly due to the illness of Safwan Thabet’s wife, who died during his detention. 

Despite the difficult circumstances, the company continued to make progress under the leadership of Niel Thomsen, the current CEO of Juhayna.

Nearly three months ago, Juhayna signed a contract with KarmSolar Solar Energy Company to construct a solar power plant in New Valley, a governorate in Egypt’s southwest.

The agreement will see the consumer goods company establish a hybrid central plant at one of its farms, Enmaa Farm, in New Valley, that will generate energy using solar panels, diesel generators, and industrial batteries.

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