In 1996, the daughter of Magdy Rasikh, Heidi, married Ala’a Mubarak, the late Egyptian President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak’s eldest son. Two years after the marriage, the fugitive businessman directed his investments towards natural gas, and on May 26, 1998, he established the National Gas Company as per decision No. (961) of 1998 by the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, or GAFI.
On May 19, 2010 and months before the end of the Mubarak regime, the National Gas Company had a decision issued by the Paris Court of Appeals to withhold the funds of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation abroad, claiming that a ruling was issued in its favor by the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration. The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation was to be fined by approximately 254 million Egyptian pounds as a difference in price and dues to the gas company. This came about because of the rise in the prices of the basic requirements needed to implement the project that would deliver natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial areas in Al-Sharqiya Governorate between 1999 and 2008.
In a ruling on April 3, 2014, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rejected the lawsuit brought by the National Gas Company against the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.
On January 6, 1999, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation had signed a twenty-year franchise agreement with the National Gas Company to deliver natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial areas and to power plants in Al-Sharqiya Governorate. By this contract, the company was committed to calculating and collecting the value of the gas sold to customers and consumers and to paying the authority’s dues out of this gas value.
On June 16, 2021, the Supreme Prosecution department for Public Funds referred the following fugitive businessmen to criminal trial before the Cairo Criminal Court in case No. (5298) of 2021 of the Heliopolis criminal court and case No. (96) of 2021 of the Supreme department of Public Funds: Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh, former chairman of the board of directors of the National Gas Company and the son-in-law of former President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak; Mohammad Hani Ahmad Mohammad Farid, former chairman of the board of directors of the National Gas Company; and Hussam Ridha Junainah, former chairman of the board of directors of the National Gas Company. The fugitive businessmen were accused of refusing to grant the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation its dues from the gas value collected from consumers, which was estimated at one billion Egyptian pounds.
The investigative journalist obtained a copy of the attached records of the Administrative Oversight Authority on the referral to the Supreme Prosecution department for Public Funds. The records reveal that the company fulfilled its obligations until July 1, 2010. After that, it refrained from providing the authority with its dues for the value of the gas obtained from customers. It also refused to sign the approvals for the quantities and values of consumed gas. This conflicted with the contract signed between the two parties, which expired on January 29, 2019. The investigations of Ahmad Muhyi Al-Din Al-Qadi who is a member of the Administrative Oversight Authority and is the seventh witness in the case show that the responsibility fell on the two defendants alongside another deceased person.
The legal dispute is ongoing between the Egyptian government represented by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation on one hand, and the National Gas Company on the other hand, while the contract signed between the two sides expired in 2019. Despite this, the document on gas delivery procedures on the official website of the Ministry of Petroleum still lists the National Gas Company, along with its address and contact information as part of the companies that deliver natural gas to homes and industrial areas.
This investigation reveals how Magdy Rasikh deceived the Egyptian government for more than ten years by obtaining agreements and deals from the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum to import natural gas and supply it to homes and factories. These are similar to the activities conducted by his first company, National Gas, only this time they are conducted by another company called Fleet Energy, which was founded in Panama in 2007 with an operating office in Dubai.
This investigation is based on leaked documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ( ) and shared with ARIJ and a large number of publishers around the world within a project labeled as the Pandora Papers. The leaks mark the biggest cross-border journalistic collaboration project in history and include millions of documents from lawyers’ offices about tax havens. They also uncover assets, secret transactions and the hidden fortunes of the rich, including more than 130 billionaires, more than 30 world leaders, a number of fugitives or convicted people alongside sports stars, judges, tax officials and counterintelligence agencies.
Rasikh’s name appeared in the Fleet Energy documents alongside the name of Engineer Essam Kafafi who is the company’s chairman of the board of directors. Fleet Energy has many subsidiaries all of which are completely owned by the company, including Fleet Energy Hydrocarbons, Ltd. DMCC; Fleet Offshore Petroleum Services; Fleet Fuel FZC; Fleet Tanking Inc.; Fleet Oil and Gas S.A.. One of the documents on “the Agent’s Confidential Information” lists Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh personal details with passport No. 45519, born on December 23, 1943 and residing on 26 Mohammad Ghuneim Street, Heliopolis, Cairo. This document shows that “Magdy Rasikh” founded Fleet Oil and Gas S.A. on January 16, 2008.
The documents reveal that Rasikh is the beneficial owner of Fleet Oil and Gas S.A. through the office of Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee Trust Belize Limited and that Essam’s name is listed as the company’s current representative client of record.
According to the company’s official website, the company’s main office is in Dubai in the Abraj Buhairat Jumeirah area. It also has two other offices: one on 261 Street in the Ma’adi neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt, and the other in the Russian capital of Moscow.
The Fleet Energy website also states that the company is an active trading partner with the following companies: the Russian Rosneft company and its subsidiary company Rosneft Trading in Geneva; Shell for trading and shipping; Kaz Monai Gas in Kazakhstan; Rom Petrol in Romania; OMV for Supply and Trade Ltd.; the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) in Egypt; the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) in Egypt, the Spanish petroleum company; Luke Oil in Russia; Libya Oil; the Kolmar Group Shareholding in Bulgaria; Petrosa in South Africa, Petro China; Saras S. P. E. in Italy; Enok for Supply and Trade in the United Arab Emirates; and the Aden Refineries. This is in addition to other private and state-owned refineries, wholesale distribution companies and traders. The company’s clients include national oil companies such as the National Oil Corporation in Libya and countries in North and East Africa.
In July 2015, Essam Kafafi, Magdy’s right-hand man and the commercial partner of the Russian Rosneft company, was present when the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) signed two terms documents with the Russian Rosneft company for the supply of petroleum products and liquefied natural gas to Egypt. On May 6, 2016, Rosneft delivered its first shipment of liquefied natural gas to Egypt.
Fleet Energy worked with the Egyptian government in 2010, and the company was granted the right to process between 1-1.5 million barrels of crude oil per month at the Maydour refinery. It made successive sales operations of products that had been produced for the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. Fleet Energy confirms that it has an excellent work relationship with EGPC.
In 2014, 510 thousand metric tons of gasoline and gas oil were sold to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation through Fleet Energy’s strategic partners.
All transactions in 2015 were fulfilled on a bid basis, either individually or through the company’s partners, Rosneft Trading, with a total supply volume of around 450 thousand metric tons of cargoes primarily containing fuel oil and gas oil. These were delivered to the General Petroleum Corporation’s Al-Ain Al-Sokhneh, Suez and Alexandria ports.
Fleet Energy confirms that it is currently part of the direct supply network between Rosneft and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation in providing petroleum products and crude oil in addition to supplying liquefied natural gas with EGAS. During 2016, more than 1.5 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas and petroleum products consisting of fuel and gas oil were supplied to Egypt.
In July 2017, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company granted Fleet Energy the initial approval to import liquefied natural gas.
Granting these initial import approvals lined up with the issuance of the law on regulating the gas market in August 2017. Chapter (2) of article (36) of this law allows the private sector to import gas from abroad for the first time when this role had previously been limited to the government. This took place a few weeks before the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ratified the law on regulating gas market activities, which was published in the official Egyptian Gazette in early August 2017.
In May 2018, on the sidelines of the 22nd Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Rosneft signed a framework cooperation agreement with Fleet Energy and Fleetliner Energy S.A.. The parties declared the intention to explore the possibilities of creating a joint project to develop a supply chain to provide more gas to industrial consumers in Egypt.
Magdy Rasikh’s problematic financial relationship with the Egyptian state is not limited to the oil sector; on February 20, 2021, the Public Prosecution announced on its official Facebook page, that the National Committee for the Recovery of Funds and Assets Abroad signed a contract to settle and reconcile with the defendants Mohammad Ibrahim Suleiman and Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh who were charged in some cases.
The committee, which was headed by consultant Hamada El-Sawy who is also the Egyptian Public Prosecutor, signed the settlement and reconciliation applications filed by the defendants Suleiman and Rasikh. The defendants paid a total of 1,315,701,24 Egyptian pounds.
On December 21, 2016 and while Rasikh and Kafafi’s company was signing oil agreements with the Egyptian government, the Egyptian Court of Cassation was in the process of ruling in favor of the indictment issued by the Cairo Criminal Court on September 21, 2015. By this ruling, Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh, chairman of the board of directors of the Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC), was convicted to five years of fortified imprisonment in absentia. This was the final verdict in the SODIC case in which the court charged the defendants with profiteering and intentional harm done to public funds.
Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh, chairman of the board of directors of the Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) was accused of acquiring many plots of lands in the cities of Sheikh Zayed and Al-Giza Al-Jadeedah at prices below their market value. To do this, he colluded with Mohammad Ibrahim Mohammad Suleiman, former Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities and with some officials of the New Urban Communities Association.
A document in the Panama records dated June 2015 reveals that Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh was granted a Power of Attorney and was appointed as a legal representative for Fleet Energy Inc.. By this, he could act individually in the name of the institution and on its behalf in any and all its trading activities globally when necessary. Since February 12, 2010, he could also carry out any and all representative actions that the company itself can do. These are the same powers that were granted to Essam Kafafi on July 17, 2009. Kafafi holds a British passport, number 800370988, and is the chairman of the board of directors.
A letter from the law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee S. A. in Panama to Essam Kafafi on March 25, 2010 states that according to Kafafi’s instructions, Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh was granted a general Power of Attorney certified by the Egyptian Consulate, and a bank account was opened. The company lists the same address as Rakesh’s contact details on 26 Mohammad Ghuneim Street, Heliopolis, Cairo.
Another document dated February 12, 2010 on the meeting of the board of directors of Fleet Energy, Inc. shows that a bank account with Euro Bank EFG, Cyprus was opened. This is operated individually or jointly by Messrs. Essam Jamal Kafafi or Mohammad Magdy Hussein Rasikh, and they are authorized to sign documents, withdraw funds through this account and to manage any other transactions of any kind with Euro Bank EFG, Cyprus on behalf of Fleet Energy, Inc.. They are given maximum powers, including the authority to activate any alternatives they may deem suitable or necessary.
Kafafi’s social media accounts show that he was born on August 9, 1961 and that he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree at Helwan University in 1986. From 1996 to 2000, he was the chairman of the National Gas Company, which was founded by Magdy Rasikh. Then, he moved to manage a company for developing projects in the Middle East in Dubai between 2000 and 2007. After that, he founded Fleet Energy and is currently the chairman of the board of directors.
In a nutshell, the case is as follows: How does the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum grant these private agreements on supplying gas and open the Egyptian market to activities by a company run by businessman Magdy Rasikh who is nominally represented by Essam Kafafi? This was also happening at a time when Rasikh was facing a five-year fortified prison sentence because he was convicted for profiteering and intentional harm done to public funds. Rasikh is currently on trial before the Cairo Criminal Court along with others on charges of refusing to provide the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation’s dues with the value of gas collected from consumers, which are estimated at one billion Egyptian pounds.
At the time of publication of this investigation, Rasikh, Kafafi and their companies had not responded to our inquiries.