The Criminal Court of the capital Algiers sentenced on Tuesday to three years in prison a defendant called “B.C”, an expatriate based in France, who was involved in espionage activities by collecting secret information for the purpose of handing it over to a foreign country, thus dealing a blow to the national economy.
He was suspected of being involved in a spying operation on the national Naftal hydrocarbons complex, by striving to know the exact details of the oil reserves in Algeria and gathering other sensitive information concerning the operations of strategic sectors, including the Ministry of National Defense and the General Directorate of National Security.
This entire malicious spying scheme was planned by a French Company, which reportedly pledged to the defendant a sum of 100,000 Euros in addition an apartment in Europe in exchange for the leaked information about the ins and outs of the complex.
On the basis of the trial proceedings, the investigation into the case began on 16 November 2016, following information received by the judicial control authorities about the exposure of some Naftal executives to bribery and extortion by a person called “B. C”, who worked for a French Company.
The suspect was then tracked down and arrested by security forces in a restaurant located in the capital Algiers.
The witnesses revealed to the Court that the defendant did everything he could to get closer to the central Director of Naftal’s information systems, and asked to meet him so as to know details of some projects and deals, adding that the defendant had also tried to threaten the Naftal executive for refusing to give him information about the National Company’s operations of fuel and oil stocks, and the amount of state needs of diesel and kerosene as well as details about the precise energy consumption of sovereign national institutions.
In his statement before the Criminal Court, the defendant argued that the case was “fabricated” and “unfounded”, as he put it, stressing that it was merely an attempt to retaliate against him following the breaking out of an ethical case involving a former senior executive who worked at the Naftal complex.