Issad Rebrab, Algerian entrepreneur and CEO of CEVITAL industrial group. File photo/ AFP
Algeria’s richest man Issad Rebrab has been detained in jail on the public prosecutor’s orders, state media reported on Tuesday a day after his arrest as part of a corruption probe.
The crackdown on alleged graft follows the resignation of veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in early April after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.
Rebrab, the 74-year-old chief executive of Algeria’s biggest privately-owned conglomerate Cevital, was placed in detention overnight according to the APS news agency.
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.
He is “suspected of having made fake statements concerning the transfer of funds to and from abroad,” APS reported.
He is also suspected of having imported “used equipment” despite enjoying tax and customs breaks made available by authorities for the purchase of new material.
Earlier on Monday, Rebrab tweeted that he had gone voluntarily to a police station to discuss “equipment that has been held up at the Algiers port since June 2018.”
Cevital, which he founded, employs 12,000 people and is active in electronics, steel and food, and in recent years acquired businesses in France.
According to Forbes, Cevital also owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world with the capacity to produce two million tonnes a year.
Algeria’s ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia appeared in court as part of a corruption probe, private channel Ennahar TV reported on Tuesday.
A military court in Algeria on Wednesday jailed for 15 years two former intelligence chiefs, the brother of a former president and the leader of a political party for “conspiring against the army,”
Algeria booked an Africa Cup of Nations semi-final with Nigeria after battling past Ivory Coast on penalties. Sofiane Feghouli broke the deadlock in the first half for Algeria ahead after Baghdad Bounedjah squared it to the Galatasaray midfielder.
Conditions in Salvadoran prisons have come under greater scrutiny after the government in April released startling photos of hundreds of jailed gang members stripped to underwear and pressed together in formation, drawing strong criticism from human rights groups.
It said there would be no limits on the number of visitors allowed to visit people in their own homes but they must ensure that there is enough space for everyone to keep their distance from each other and make sure there is enough fresh air.
Restrictions will be lifted in three phases, culminating in the curfew completely ending — with the exception of the holy city of Makkah — from June 21, the state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.