Imedghassen Hijacked Ship: The Scandal Brought Again Before Justice
The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court decided to accept the appeal in cassation in the case of the “Imedghassen” ship hijacked abroad and was subject to French judicial seizure.
The case sparked great controversy, after the hijacked ship was seized in a French port in February 2022, and was the subject of follow-up by the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune personally, as after a series of commercial disputes and criminal prosecutions, “all these efforts culminated in the recovery of the ship.”
In the details, Echorouk sources revealed that the case file will be referred again to the Algerian Judicial Council to re-trial the accused persons on charges of concealing criminal proceeds resulting from cases of corruption and money laundering, and criminal proceeds resulting from corruption crimes by transferring property to conceal and disguise its illegal source within the framework of an organized criminal group through the facilities granted by a professional activity, which are the acts provided for and punishable by Articles 383 of the Penal Code and Articles 42, 43 and 53 of the Prevention and Combating Corruption Law.
The facts of the case relate to the transfer of the “Anisfir Line” company of the containership called “Imedghassen” with a financial value of about 18 million US dollars to France for precautionary seizure by the latter, as a way to disguise the Algerian judicial services, given that this ship was subject to seizure following a judicial investigation in a case of corruption, and this is in collusion between the company’s managers and two former managers of the “Global Maritime Algerie” company and its owner, Hacene Arabaoui, who is in prison, and those involved with him.
As for the defendants in the case, the general manager of the company “Global Maritime Algerie” called “A. Ali”, the CEO of the “ANISFIR LINE” company “H. Mustafa” and the operating companies, denied during their trial at the level of the third branch of the economic and financial penal pole of Sidi M’hamed court, all the charges against them and were acquitted. Still, the president of the Sixth Criminal Chamber of the Algerian Judicial Council, after a retrial and review of the file papers and documents attached to it, and listening to the pleading of the Public Prosecutor at the same judicial authority, cancelled the appealed ruling, to convict the defendants of two years in prison, pending the decision that will result in the third trial in the case during the next few days.
Previously, the Attorney General at the Court of Algiers, Mourad Sid Ahmed announced, on February 2022 the recovery of the ship “Imedghassen”, hijacked abroad, while it was the subject of a judicial seizure within the framework of an investigation into a corruption case, as well as the placement under a warrant of the main respondent, and judicial supervision of another respondent.
During a press conference dedicated to the presentation of the details of the case of the ship “Imedghassen”, Sid Ahmed specified that it was a case of “recovery of goods and assets resulting from the business of corruption”, affirming that “this affair circulated widely on social media and was the subject of follow-up by the high authorities of the country”.
The Attorney General indicated that “the value of this ship is 18 million dollars and was subject to seizure following a judicial investigation into a corruption case, and now the charterer is diverting it abroad”.
The perpetrators of these acts were prosecuted for “concealment of criminal assets from corruption and money laundering cases”, said the Attorney General, adding that “on January 23, 2022, the judge opened an investigation into the case, following which the main defendant, who is a director of a private company, was placed in pre-trial detention, while another defendant was placed under judicial supervision”.
After a series of commercial disputes and criminal proceedings, “these efforts culminated by the recovery of the ship which docked on Sunday, February 14, 2022, at the port of Algiers”.