The five wealthy Algerian businessmen rounded up in the anti-corruption campaign were part of Bouteflika’s inner circle.
Rabat – Algerian authorities arrested five billionaire businessmen on Monday, April 22, who were allegedly closely allied to the ousted Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
According to Algerian state television, an Algerian court is investigating the five billionaires on allegations of corruption.
One of the five is Issad Rebrab, CEO of the Cevital industrial group and one of the wealthiest men in Algeria.
In 2015, Forbes named Rebrab the wealthiest man in North Africa, with a worth of $3.2 billion.
Four brothers of the Kouninef family are also under arrest. According to France 24, the family “is hugely influential and the four brothers have dealings in everything from agribusiness to civil engineering.”
The anti-corruption crackdown came after army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah stated it was possible ruling elites could be prosecuted on corruption charges.
The arrests are also coming after Algerians continued protesting for the ninth consecutive week since February 22, calling for a radical regime change.
A loyal ally of Bouteflika, former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, is also being investigated on charges of misuse of public money. In early April, Algerian authorities also arrested tycoon Ali Haddad at the Tunisian border.
Demonstrators have been calling for the removal of men they are calling the three B’s: Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah; Interim Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui; and the head of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party, Moad Bouchareb.