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AFP
April 23, 2019

Algeria arrests five business tycoons

World

AFP
April 23, 2019

ALGIERS: Algerian police on Monday arrested the country’s wealthiest man hours after detaining four other business tycoons from a powerful family with links to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, state television reported.

The five are being investigated for corruption and include Issad Rebrab, the CEO of Algeria’s biggest privately-owned conglomerate Cevital, according to the state broadcaster. 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 on Monday morning 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.

Cevital, which he founded, employs 12,000 people and is active in electronics, steel and food, and in recent years acquired business in France. Earlier 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".

In its report, state television said he was also suspected of having imported "used equipment" despite enjoying tax and customs breaks made available by authorities for the purchase of new material.

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