Five Algerian billionaires arrested in anti-graft investigation
Monday 22/April/2019 - 06:06 PM
(Reuters) - Five Algerian billionaires، some of them close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who quit over mass protests، have been arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation، state TV said on Monday.
They were later brought to court to face charges from the general prosecutor’s office، private Ennahar TV channel said، a legal requirement after an arrest. Further details were not immediately available.
The five are Issad Rebrab، considered the richest businessman in the energy-rich north African nation who is especially active in the food and sugar refining business، and four brothers from the Kouninef family، it said.
Rebrab is chairman of the family-owned Cevital company، which imports raw sugar from Brazil and exports white sugar to Tunisia، Libya and other destinations in the Middle East.
The Kouninef family is close to Bouteflika، who ruled Algeria for 20 years. Bouteflika stepped down three weeks ago، bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations by mainly younger Algerians seeking change.
The move came after Algeria’s army chief، Lieutenant General Gaid Salah، said last week he expected members of the ruling elite in the country to be prosecuted for corruption.