Abdelmoumen Rafik Khalifa
Creator of the El Khalifa Group
Date of Birth: 10/10/1966
Place of Birth: Bejaia
Commentary: Rafik has been sentenced to life imprisonment by judge Fatiha Brihimi, after his bank, TV station and airline all crashed financially, and the El Khalifa Bank was found to have defrauded over a million depositors and collapsed with debts of more than US$1.5 billion in 2003. He is due to be extradited from the UK to Algeria in April 2011.
Many neutrals question how Khalifa could have risen so high without patronage
from the top - commanded now, as during Khalifa's prime, by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
and his circle of close aides. Khalifa's business success was
unprecedented in an economy still dominated by state structures and
conservative economics. Khalifa Airways effectively replaced the
state's Air Algérie as domestic carrier before crashing in
financial flames. Khalifa TV crashed too, after El Khalifa Bank was
found to have defrauded over 1,000,000 depositors.
At his peak, 'Golden Boy' sponsored the French football club Olympique de Marseille FC
(itself then a fallen giant) and enjoyed many powerful and glitzy
friends; among those cited in court were senior Algerian technocrats
and French stars Gérard Depardieu and Cathérine Deneuve.
Not bad for a man of 40 who emerged from the suburban family pharmacy
to become the first real oligarch of Algeria's post-socialist economy.
Many Algerians pointed out that his pharmacist father was a senior
member of the Independence war military security, beside luminaries
such as Interior Minister Noureddine 'Yazid' Zerhouni and the late Kasdi Merbah. Many believe Khalifa must have been protected by members of the Bouteflika family or the President's then Chief-of-Staff, Larbi Belkheir (now Ambassador to Morocco).
Vol 52 N0 19
The new information law will permit privately-owned television and radio stations, unseen since the collapse of Abdelmoumen Rafik Khalifa’s business empire and his popular Khalifa TV in 2003...
Vol 48 N0 9
The celebrities were missing from Algeria's 'trial of the century' at Blida Criminal Court, when Judge Fatiha Brihimi sentenced fugitive banker Rafik Abdelmoumen Khalifa to life imprisonment...
Vol 45 N0 6
Abdelghani's clients included the failed El Khalifa Group, whose head, Rafik Abdelmoumen Khalifa, is lobbying hard from London to unseat Boutef, notably through his revived television channel, Khalifa News...
Vol 44 N0 21
Some cover the collapse of Abdelmoumen Rafik Khalifa's business empire (AC Vol 44 No 7) and others report dubious land deals...
Vol 44 N0 7
The collapse of Abdelmoumen Rafik Khalifa's El Khalifa Group (EKG) has seen investors mobbing banks in search of their savings, French intelligence leaks about power brokers' roles in EKG's rise - plus a local aviation crisis...