Algeria’s richest man held in jail in graft probe

Algeria’s richest man held in jail in graft probe

Algeria’s richest man Issad Rebrab has been detained in jail on the public prosecutor’s orders, state media reported 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.
News of Rebrab’s arrest came as thousands of students thronged the capital’s streets calling for the overthrow of the “system” and for trials against members of the deposed leader’s inner circle.
Rebrab, the 74-year-old chief executive of Algeria’s biggest privately-owned conglomerate Cevital, was placed in detention overnight, the APS news agency reported.
Forbes lists Rebrab as Algeria’s richest man and the sixth-wealthiest in Africa, with a net worth of $3.38 billion.
He is “suspected of having made fake statements concerning the transfer of funds to and from abroad”, APS reported.
He is also suspected of importing “used equipment” despite enjoying tax and tariff breaks intended for the purchase of new products.
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”.
Source: Guardian Newspaper