CAIRO- The former chairman of Egyptian state buyer Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC) and others have been referred to trial on bribery charges, a statement from the public prosecutor said.

The statement, dated Saturday, said the former chairman was accused of accepting bribes totalling 982,000 Egyptian pounds ($54,983.20).

In May, the prosecutor's office ordered the detention of four Egyptian officials -- the then FIHC chairman Alaa Fahmy, an official from his office, and two supply ministry officials -- on suspicion of taking bribes from commodities trading firms. 

FIHC, a state buyer that has historically handled a broad sweep of commodities, tendering locally and internationally for staples like vegetable oils and sugar, has in recent years seen its role reduced in favour of state grain-buyer GASC.

Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat and a major buyer of staples like corn and vegetable oils.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Alexandra Hudson) ((; +20-1001174410;))