Algeria businessmen probed for 'corruption, money transfers'

2019-04-03 12:13
Abdelaziz Bouteflika (File: AFP)

Abdelaziz Bouteflika (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algerian authorities have seized the passports of seven businessmen under investigation over corruption allegations, the private Ennahar TV reported on Monday.

On Sunday, authorities also arrested Ali Haddad, a leading Algerian businessman who was part of the inner circle of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose office said he would resign before his fourth term expires on April 28 after more than a month of mass protests against his rule. 

One of the country's richest men, Haddad was caught with large sums of money trying to cross into neighbouring Tunisia, local media said.

Authorities had on Sunday banned all private aircraft from taking off and landing until the end of the month.

Demonstrators in the North African country, an oil and gas producer, want a new generation of leaders to replace a ruling elite seen by many ordinary Algerians as out of touch and unable to jump-start a faltering economy hampered by cronyism.

Authorities did not say who was being targeted by the new investigations into corruption and illegal money transfers abroad.

Seeking to defuse the demonstrations, Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term. But he stopped short of stepping down immediately, to wait for a national conference on political change.

That further enraged protesters, prompting the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, to step in by proposing last week to ask the constitutional council to see whether he is still fit for office.

Late on Sunday, Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said that Bouteflika might resign this week. The government has not commented on the reports.

Protests continue

Despite Bouteflika's resignation, Algerian students on social networks called for large protests to be held on Tuesday in the capital and the rest of the country.

Mohamed, a member of a student union in Algiers, said that the departure of Bouteflika is not "enough".

"It does not change anything. He will leave but the same regime, which has ruled Algeria since 1962 and its independence, will stay if we don't continue to protest. What we want is not only Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down, but we also want the creation of a new political system," he told Al Jazeera.

Likewise, Amel, a computer engineer who lives in Algiers, said that she is not satisfied with Bouteflika's decision. "He is only the tip of the iceberg. The ruling elite, who is clinging to power, is trying to distract us with the President's resignation. But we are not duped," Amel told Al Jazeera.

Amina, an undergraduate student at Algiers School of Architecture, who said that she would take part to a gathering against the government tomorrow, described Bouteflika's last announcement as "a small victory".

"It is a first step but this is not our final goal. We won't be successful if Bouteflika resigns while the old guard remains after April 28. They must all leave. Now more than ever, we need to stay united and peacefully demonstrate against the regime," Amina told Al Jazeera.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    algeria  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.