World Bulletin / News Desk
Magdi Aqel, 60, disappeared last August while working for an Italian company based in Milan.
Seven months later, Aqel’s fate still remains unclear.
In a Friday statement, Egypt’s Manpower Ministry claimed to have received information from a Milan-based source that Aqel had a falling-out with the company’s owner prior to his disappearance.
“The dispute was reportedly over Aqel’s claims to certain financial rights,” the statement, which was carried by Egypt’s official MENA news agency, read.
It added: “Although Aqel’s body has yet to be found, prosecutors in Milan believe a criminal act was involved and that this isn’t simply a ‘missing persons’ case.”
The ministry went on to assert that the son of the company owner was currently under investigation.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said earlier that Aqel had moved to Italy in 1992 and had worked for the firm in question from 1994 until his disappearance last year.
Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain comment from the Italian authorities regarding the case.
Egypt-Italy relations have remained tense since 2016, when an Italian graduate student was murdered in Cairo.
Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old doctoral student studying in Egypt, vanished on Jan. 25, 2016 -- the fifth anniversary of a popular uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.
Nine days later, Regeni’s dead body -- bearing signs of extreme torture -- was discovered on Cairo’s outskirts.
While Egyptian authorities deny any involvement in the student’s death, observers have noted that the signs of torture on the young man's body were uncannily similar to those caused by Egyptian police torture.