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Issad Rebrab, considered the richest man in Algeria, is in prison

The Cevital group's CEO, active in the electronics, steel, household appliance and public works sectors, was arrested as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

The World with AFP Posted today at 11:14, updated at 11:38

Time to Reading 1 min.

CEO Cevital Group, Issad Rebrab in Algiers in 2016.
CEO Cevital group, Issad Rebrab in Algiers in 2016. RYAD KRAMDI / AFP

Issad Rebrab, CEO of the first private group in Algeria, Cevital, and considered as the first fortune of the country, was jailed in the night, after his presentation to the prosecutor's office as part of an anti-corruption investigation, announced Tuesday, April 23 , the official APS news agency.

Arrested on Monday, Mr. Rebrab, 74, is "Suspected of misrepresenting the movement of capital from and to abroad, overcharging, importation of used equipment despite the granting of bank, tax and customs benefits (for new equipment)"said APS.

The founder of Cevital had in a tweet on Monday denied having been arrested, indicating that he had only reported to the gendarmerie as part of the blockade for nearly a year at the port of Algiers by the industrial equipment authorities of his conglomerate. The industrialist believes that this blockage is illegitimate.

Read also "Barakat this system! Algerians demonstrate en masse for 9th consecutive Friday

The Cévital group, owner of the Algerian daily Freedom and who bought in particular the household appliance group Fagor-Brandt or the manufacturer of doors and windows Oxxo, did not react immediately to the incarceration of its CEO.

Cevital is active in electronics, iron and steel, household appliances and construction and employs 18,000 people, according to the latest figures given by the group.

Series of surveys

Monday were also arrested four brothers of the powerful family Kouninef, owner of the large group KouGC specializes in civil engineering, hydraulics and construction.

The Kouninef family is considered close to Saïd Bouteflika, brother and powerful advisor to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, head of state for twenty years who resigned on 2 April under the combined pressure of the street and the army.

Read also In Algiers, "the system tries to regenerate, playing the card of repression"

Since Mr. Bouteflika's resignation, the Algerian judiciary has launched a series of investigations into corruption and illicit transfers of capital to powerful businessmen who are often close to former President Bouteflika.

Mr Rebrab, for his part, is in conflict with the Algerian authorities, whom he has accused for several years of blocking his investments in Algeria.

At the beginning of April, the former boss of the Algerian bosses, Ali Haddad, a powerful businessman who owned the first Algerian construction group, very close to Mr. Bouteflika, was imprisoned after his night arrest at a border crossing. Tunisia, in possession of undeclared foreign currency and two passports, in violation of Algerian legislation.

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