Is there evidence, for example through media investigations or prosecution reports, of a penetration of organised crime into the defence and security sector? If no, is there evidence that the government is alert and prepared for this risk?
19a. Penetration of organised crime
Algeria score: 50/100
There is a strong likelihood that organised crime has penetrated the sector, or there is confirmation that it has done so.
There is moderate likelihood of penetration by organised crime into the defence and security sector.
There is very low likelihood of military involvement in sectors in which organised crime operates.
Generally, it is very difficult to find information on the penetration of organised crime in the military and the security sector. See also the country’s last assessment (4). Some reports and articles suggest that it is likely that organised crime networks have penetrated the security services. One of the latest examples is the case of Maj Gen Abdelghani Hamel, former head of the Directorate-General for National Security (DGSN), who was dismissed in connection with a record seizure of 701kg of cocaine by the armed forces in the port of Oran (1) (3). However, it is difficult to fully assess the case. Analysts have discussed it with regards to the presidential elections next year and that it might indicate a potential power struggle between different factions (1) (2).
1) Amir Akef. “En Algérie, les limogeages se poursuivent au sein de l’état-major”, lemonde.fr, September 19, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018. https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/09/19/en-algerie-les-limogeages-se-poursuivent-au-sein-de-l-etat-major_5357248_3212.html.
2) Adlène Meddi. “Algeria suffers a long hot summer of political scandal – again”, middleeasteye.net, June 29, 2018. Accessed November 2, 2018. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/algeria-summer-scandal-abdelghani-hamel-sacked-abdelaziz-bouteflika-investigation-ship-cocaine-339586284.
3) Matt Herbert. “The Butcher’s bill. Cocaine trafficking in North Africa”, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, September 21, 2018. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://globalinitiative.net/the-butchers-bill-cocaine-trafficking-in-north-africa/.
4) “Algeria”, Country Assessment of the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2015. Accessed March 22, 2019. http://government.defenceindex.org/generate-report.php?country_id=6251.
19b. Government response
Algeria score: 0/100
The government is not actively trying to tackle the problem, or only gives it lip service.
The government is aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector, but its actions are unclear or inconsistent. This issue may be included in the anti-corruption policy, but only superficially. Military leaders fail to publicly address this specific issue.
The government is aware of the possibility of organised crime in the defence and security sector, and is taking action, or would be in a position to take action quickly should organised criminal activity take place. If there is a likelihood of organised criminal action taking place, the issue is included in the anti-corruption policy, and military leaders have publicly acknowledged the clear risk on this issue.
No information could be found that the government has publicly spoken about the possibility that organized crime has penetrated the defence sector.
Deputy Minister of National Defence Gaïd Salah said that he welcomed the efforts of the Naval Forces to intercept drugs at the port of Oran (1). Following the dismissal of Maj Gen Abdelghani Hamel, the President of the Republic and Salah ordered that Hamel’s remuneration be stopped. They were also considering to reduce him of his rank and investigate into two accounts located abroad (2).
1) Amir Akef. “En Algérie, le président Bouteflika limoge le chef de la police sur fond de lutte des clans”, lemonde.fr, June 27, 2018. Accessed November 2, 2018. https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/06/27/en-algerie-le-president-bouteflika-limoge-le-chef-de-la-police-sur-fond-de-lutte-des-clans_5321917_3212.html.
2) “Il subit les foudres de l’armée / Le général-major Abdelghani Hamel sera déchu de ses grades et galons”, algerie-focus.com, September 5, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018. https://www.algerie-focus.com/2018/09/il-subit-les-foudres-de-larmee-le-general-major-abdelghani-hamel-sera-dechu-de-ses-grades-et-galons/.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||19a. Penetration of organised crime||19b. Government response|
|Algeria||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Angola||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Egypt||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Ghana||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Iraq||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Jordan||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Kuwait||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Lebanon||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Mali||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Morocco||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Niger||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Nigeria||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Oman||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Palestine||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Qatar||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Tunisia||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||100 / 100||75 / 100|