Egypt’s Interior Ministry has ordered shipments of 140,000 teargas canisters from US in January. The total cost of the shipment amounts to nearly US$2.5 million, despite the country’s collapsing economy and calls for a ‘freer’ state.
The order was made to cover Egypt’s shortage of teargas after months of aggressive clashes between police and protesters, Egypt Independent reports quoting letters between Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry officials.
“In light of the ongoing incidents and growing need for gas bombs to deal with rioters and preserve the nation’s safety, Al-Guindy Company for Imports and Exports, a representative of the US Combined System Company in Egypt, has been contracted to import 70,000 gas bombs and 70,000 long-range gas projectiles from the US to Egypt,” a letter stated as cited by the paper.
After the supplier failed to deliver the shipment by sea, Egypt stressed the urgency of the order and asked if the delivery could be performed by means of a military jet, a January 30 letter from Major General Osama Ismail of the Interior Ministry reportedly says.
“Due to the company’s failure in importing the shipment, citing the difficult procedures governing importing from abroad, and the Interior Ministry’s urgent need [for teargas], we thought we would write to you to take the necessary steps to approve transferring the shipment on board of a military jet from the US to Egypt. Al-Guindy Company is willing to pay for the shipping costs,” Ismail writes in his letter to the Defense Ministry head.