Algeria’s wealthiest businessman and four other billionaires close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who quit over mass protests, have been arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation…
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, state TV said yesterday.
The move came after army chief Lieutenant General Gaid Salah said last week he expected members of the ruling elite to be prosecuted for graft. Protesters have called during two months of dissent for the removal of the elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962, and the prosecution of people they see as corrupt.
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 billionaires were later brought to court to face charges from the general prosecutor’s office, the state TV channel said.