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Algeria: several industrialists arrested

The Algerian gendarmerie on Monday arrested businessman Issad Rebrab, considered the first fortune of Algeria, for "False statement concerning the movement of capital"announced state television. Mr. Rebrab is the CEO of the first private group in Algeria, Cevital, a conglomerate active in electronics, steel, household appliances and construction, which employs 12,000 people and bought companies in France (household appliance group Fagor Brandt between other).

The arrest of the CEO of Cevital comes hours after Sunday, four brothers, all businessmen and members of the Kouninef family, at the head of an empire ranging from agribusiness to civil oil. If the Kouninef family is deemed close to Said Bouteflika, brother and powerful former adviser to the former head of state, Cevital had declared early March support the protest movement shaking Algeria to protest against the candidacy for a fifth term Abdelaziz Bouteflika. His CEO had shown himself to begovernment in recent years.

Read alsoAlgeria: "We won a battle but the war goes on"

"The gendarmerie arrested Issad Rebrab this morning, Cevital Group CEO. He is suspected of misrepresenting the movement of capital from abroad, overcharging, importation of used equipment despite the granting of bank, tax and customs benefits (for new equipment) "said the state TV in a headband. According to this official media, Mr. Rebrab "Shall be referred to the prosecutor of the court of Sidi Mhamed in Algiers immediately after the end of his hearing by the investigating judge".

"Dilapidation of public money"

"I showed up again this morning at the gendarmerie brigade of Bab Jdid (Algiers). We will continue studying the case of our equipment held at the port of Algiers since June 2018Had tweeted on his side Mr. Rebrab earlier in the morning. State television also announced the arrest Sunday night of four brothers Kouninef. They must be heard in the context of a judicial inquiry among other things for "Non-respect of the commitments contained in contracts concluded with the State, trading of influence to obtain undue advantages" before being presented to the prosecutor's office, according to this source.

Former Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Minister of Finance Mohamed Loukal were given a summons on Monday to be heard by the Algiers public prosecutor's office in an investigation for "Squandering public money", also revealed state television. Since February 22, Algeria has been the scene of massive demonstrations triggered by the candidacy for a new mandate of Mr. Bouteflika. which turned into a challenge to the whole regime. Bouteflika resigned on April 2, but protests continue to demand the departure of all senior officials from the "system". The Army Chief of Staff, General Gaid Salah, called on April 16 for justice to "speed up the pace" in investigations opened for bribery against businessmen linked to the former presidential clan.

In early April, the former boss of Algerian bosses Ali Haddad, rich businessman, also close to Mr. Bouteflika, had been imprisoned after being arrested while traveling to Tunisia. In the aftermath of his arrest, the judiciary announced the opening of investigations into corruption and illicit transfers of capital. It had also banned a number of people from leaving Algeria, without giving names, but the press had revealed those of a dozen influential businessmen, all related to the entourage of the head of the State.




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