The prosecution department of the Oran court has just referred the file relating to the attempted illegal transfer of the sum of 124 million dollars to foreign secret banks.
This decision was born with a view to rescheduling the case as part of the calendar of the next criminal session scheduled for next October.
Heavy accusations brought against the defendants
According to our sources, the prosecution division judges found the charges against the 14 people prosecuted in this case, seven of them in detention, to be criminal. A position based on the gravity of the accusations against the defendants, in particular those arrested, while another is still a fugitive. The criminal section of the court of Oran specializing in economic and financial affairs has issued an international arrest warrant against the latter with rogatory commission addressed to a European country. The aforementioned letters rogatory commission has the purpose of obtaining legal assistance to ascertain whether the requested person resided in this country and to verify the possibility that he has illegally transferred currency to one of his banks which guarantees banking secrecy.
Furthermore, the prosecution chamber rejected a request for readjustment of the facts. And the investigating judge had previously refused to convert the criminal qualification of the case from a “crime of squandering public money” to a “crime of negligence with consequent squandering”. The investigating judge found that the sums of money the accused businessmen were about to illegally transfer from Algeria to Europe came from illegal import operations and their use of fraudulent methods.
The defendants sent back to the first degree criminal chamber are accused of: violation of the laws on importation, falsification and use of forgeries, violation of the legislation on the movement of capital to and from abroad, tax evasion and false declaration. The other defendants are accused of abuse of power, complicity and non-disclosure.
50 containers of goods against 124 million dollars
The case, which dates back to August 2015, has been investigated for a long time by the section of the gendarmerie specializing in the fight against economic and financial crime. The investigation was initiated following the receipt of specific information involving officials from the local bank branches in Oran, owners of aluminum and alloy import companies, a transit agent and a customs officer operating in the port of Oran. Security services received information about an attempted illegal transfer of $ 124 million in currency. The defendants planned to smuggle that sum through import-export companies, under the pretext of fictitious operations of purchasing aluminum and converting ferrous and non-ferrous scrap into alloys for sale or export with inflated bills.
The in-depth investigation into the movement of goods at the port of Oran revealed abuses in the export and import operations of a fictitious project related to aluminum and alloys. Such abuses consist in inflating the bills of assets backed by bank loans obtained by underhanded means. This resulted in a $ 124 million financial gap. A sum that the defendants intended to smuggle abroad in the form of 50 containers of imported goods in violation of their trade records. All these containers were seized in the port of Oran, as well as 10 other containers seized in dry ports in the territory of the wilaya of Oran.