from the success story to the prison box, the fall of a media chief in Marseille

Tamer Shabana is at the head of Nour d’Egypte, a galaxy of trendy addresses in central Marseille. The entrepreneur was placed in custody, charged with several counts, including money laundering and covert work. All in “organized band”.

The address is well known foodistas which frequents the center of Marseille. The canteen off nour ofEgypt is a restaurant whose dishes are regularly shared on Instagram, foodies’ favorite network.

We run there to taste the plates mezze or feetrdrizzled with lemonade el karkadea traditional Egyptian drink. Every Sunday, customers push in front of the establishment in hopes of getting a table to enjoy a Middle Eastern brunch.

But on May 17, the gourmands could not be content roof terrace comfortably furnished on the roof of a small building, close by Canebiere. The curtain of the “canteen of nour ofEgypt“remained closed all day.

This that daythe owner of the restaurant as well his associate and father-in-law Jean-Claude Amar is in the custody of the police at the premises of the Marseille Interministerial Research Group (IRM), a service specializing in economic crime.

For many months, the police have been investigating the duo’s relationship, leaders of restaurant, but also a bakery, a sandwich shop, a renovation company and a “concept store” in the center of Marseille.

Follow from their police custody, the two men are charged with covert work, money laundering, employment of a foreigner without title and assistance for irregular residence. Everything in “organized band” indicates the prosecutor for Republic. Jeans-Claudius Amar is placed under judicial supervision. Compared to on Tamer Shabana, he is in custody.

An entrepreneur struggling with the law, we are far from the image that Tamer Shabana knew how to forge. That of one IEgyptian immigrantI, on 45 years old has through hard work and ingenuity come to the forefront of four addresses dedicated to gastronomy and to Egyptian culture. He claims 50 employees in the center of Marseille.

Since opening in the fall of 2020, Souk, the last born of the group nour ofEgypt has become a reference point in travel guides. During the inauguration, Tamer Shabana and his partner Agnes Shabana explain to the press that they have invested 900,000 euros in equity for the renovation of this emblematic room in center. It formerly housed the store Tatiuntil a fire forced the brand to close the store in 2014.

Justice is particularly interested in the financial management of the group’s four establishments nour ofEgypt. In 2019, a state-authorized public accounting firm was authorized by Tamer Shabana to create the accounts for the Canteen of nour ofEgypt does not consider itself able to “certify the coherence and plausibility of the financial statements”.

On the side of employees also, we point out the opacity of revenue management. “We had no box cash register for meals “assures a former employee.

Service revenue circulates in envelopes met of cash. On every details of receipts are reported. A portion is listed as “unredeemed”. The sum sometimes represents several hundred euros a day.

“There was a lot of cash in circulation”, confirms a former employee. Part of the salary is also paid “black”. According to our witnesses, Tamer Shabana is used to offering part-time contracts, supplemented by a few tickets from hand to hand, when he does not suggest that the supplement be provided by a job center grant or aid as a job bonus.

All the employees we contacted reported unpaid overtime, but also inconvenience in receiving pay. “There were regularly two months late”says Sarah *, a former employee of the Cantine de Nour and the Balady bakery, the bakery opened in 2018.

She now estimates that her former boss still owes her more than 5,000 euros. “I gave up touching them one day”says the young woman, who for a period was considering a labor law proceeding.

Some do not get paid at all. Karim * was recruited in September 2019 via an advertisement from Pôle Emploi to work at Souk. He discovers on his first day of work that no contract or remuneration is given.

“Shabana tells me he does not know when the souk will open, that he can not afford to pay me. He offers me 600 euros a month, hand in hand.”. Karim has never had moonlight. But he accepts. “I have my RSA next door and I really like the project “. So he starts his work full time. Hoping for a real job when the Souk opens.

After a month, the promised salary does not appear. “And there I begin to hear others complain that they are not getting paid. One day, his boss complains about an employee who no longer shows up at his workplace. “I make him aware that this is normal as we are not being paid”.

But Tamer Shabana has no intention of paying his culprits to Karim. “He told me I had agreed to help him for free.” After this exchange, Karim was summoned by his boss a few days later. “He blames me for putting him down in front of everyone and making him look like he’s not. He said to me “take your money and get out” “.

In 2018 becameUrssaf had already fastened the Canteen off nour ofEgypt for concealed use. The board then amounted to 22,461 euros adjustment for subscription unpaid socially. Three people, all Egyptians, had been hired via an agreement for an introductory course in Egyptian culinary culture.

At the time of the inspector’s visit, the three men were “in a work situation in the restaurant kitchen”, according to a letter from Urssaf sent to the Nour restaurant in Egypt, which we could consult.

Among the obligations for “trainees”, availability at night, weekends and holidays. “The contributor seriously can not claim that it is a culinary introductory course to Egyptian culture,” Urssaf notes.

Justice is also interested in hiring undocumented people in the various establishments in Tamer Shabana. Former employees confirm their presence in the teams.

They would be paid from hand to hand, a ridiculous salary. “They are strangers, they will not say anything”would have answered Jean-Claude Amar to a former employee who was surprised by the situation.

In 2015 Tamer Shabana reportedly brought four young men from Egypt, called “chebabs” by the rest of the team. According to our information, they lived in an apartment belonging to Jean-Claude Amar.

When they are not working, their free time is controlled by their boss. “He would even take them to the cinema to watch cartoons, and he would pressure them to pray on Friday.remembers Saaid *, a former employee of the canteen. One day I went with them to the beach. Tamer Shabana accused me of taking them with ‘to see naked women’ “.

According to our witnesses, Tamer Shabana is actually trying to impose his conservative Muslim values ​​on his employees. “He made women wear trousers in the summer, despite the heat. ” remembers Sarah.

Tamer Shabana is described by former employees as a “guru”, an “unlimited” man. “He exploits people’s weakness to exploit them”, says Saaid, who is originally from Egypt. “I had just arrived in France, I did not know how it worked, that was why I received a miserable salary.”

According to our information, a former partner of Tamer Shabana has filed a complaint of fraud. He is demanding thousands of euros, which have not been paid for renovations of the souk.

Police would also investigate a group of men’s attacks on a former employee in front of the souk’s premises. According to the complaint, which we were able to consult, the victim designates Tamer Shabana as one of the attackers. One of them was allegedly stabbed. The victim, protected by his backpack, managed to escape and seek refuge in a nearby business.

All of these elements do not appear in the indictment against Tamer Shabana. The list of charges against the contractor may therefore grow as the investigation progresses.

Tamer Shabana’s lawyer, who has been reached by telephone, did not want to comment on the case at this time.

* Names have been changed

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