Continental Focus, International Reach

Algerian Police Arrest Five of Country’s Wealthiest

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Five of Algeria’s wealthiest men were arrested by the police on April 22 according to reports out of the country. State television reported that the Algerian police arrested Issad Rebrab, CEO of Cevital, hours after detaining four other business tycoons.

Four of the men have links to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The five are being investigated for corruption.

Forbes magazine lists Rebrab as Algeria’s richest man and the sixth-wealthiest in Africa, with a net worth of $3.38 billion in 2019.

The police arrested Rebrab because he is “suspected of having made fake statements concerning the transfer of funds to and from abroad,” state television said.

Rebrab, it said, was being questioning by an investigating magistrate and would later be referred to court.

The day before, April 21, police arrested four businessmen from the powerful Kouninef family with links to Bouteflika, state television said. Abdelkader, Reda, Karim and Tarek Kouninef were detained in relation to a probe into non-compliance with state contracts, it added.

Prosecutors are investigating “insider influence to obtain undue advantages and misappropriation of real estate.”