While the international investigation dubbed "Suisse Secrets", conducted by forty-seven international media, had revealed that General Khaled Nezzar held "two accounts worth at least 2 million Swiss francs ($1.6 million at the time)" as reported in the French daily, Le Monde, in February 2022, his son Lotfi Nezzar did better. But in Spain

Algeria, Lotfi Nezzar's fortune in Spain estimated at 300 million euros

Khaled Nezzar
Khaled Nezzar

In August 2019, on the run in Spain, the former Minister of National Defense, Major General Khaled Nezzar, was the target of an international arrest warrant. So was his eldest son, Lotfi, who had been involved in a number of scandals.

Both father and son fled to Barcelona, where they own a 94.74 m2 apartment on the 6th floor of a luxury residence at number 307, rue Muntaner, a chic district of the Catalan capital. The notarial deed was drawn up by Miguel Angel Campo Güerri, whose office is based in Barcelona. 

In July 2020, Lotfi Nezzar and his wife Chahinez were sentenced in absentia to 6 years' imprisonment in "a case of capital flight, money laundering and falsification of documents". His driver had been arrested at the port of Algiers in a luxury car he was taking from Algiers to Spain, with falsified documents and a sum of 190,000 euros concealed in the vehicle belonging to Lotfi Nezzar.

The Nezzars' assets were placed under sequestration by the Algerian judiciary, and their sumptuous two-hectare residence in the chic Hydra valley above Algiers was thoroughly searched by agents of the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure. 

At the same time, General Nezzar was under investigation by a Swiss court for crimes against humanity committed during the 1990s in Algeria. The examining magistrate of the Algiers court opened an investigation into capital flight, tax fraud and money laundering against Lotfi Nezzar. It was the Nezzars' descent into hell.

The death of General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, succeeded by General Saïd Chengriha at the helm of the Algerian army's general staff, sounded the death knell for the general and his son. The former strongman of Algiers returned to Algeria aboard a plane belonging to the President of the Republic, greeted by his military crew.

Algerian justice, under orders, quickly dismissed the Nezzars' affairs and everything returned to normal, until the fateful date of December 29, 2023. The date of death of the former Minister of Defense and former strongman of the Algerian regime.

Little did Lotfi Nezzar know that he would eventually be caught up in his judicial affairs. Without his father, he's naked. He weighs nothing. The Algiers public prosecutor's office is reopening his heavy file. And it has reason to tremble.

In the run-up to the presidential election of December 2024, and in order to win some sympathy from the people, the decision-makers will not hesitate for a second to sacrifice the offspring of the Algerian army's most hated soldier.

The case of ill-gotten gains in Spain resurfaces

On Thursday March 14, in an obscure office of the anti-subversion department of the Direction Générale de la Documentation et de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGDSE) headed by General Djebbar Mehenna, Assia Melhani, the black box of the conspiracy affair and so many other cases, discreetly breaks in to take out some old documents, which she begins to photograph with her smartphone, reports a DGDSE source.

Assia Melhani is there to carry out, presumably, a top-secret mission. Why else wouldn't she be using the photocopier in one of the adjoining offices? And why is she on this mission when she's on convalescent leave? What's more, she hasn't been authorized to touch secret documents since her retirement. Her reinstatement as a contract employee no longer confers on her the status she had a few months ago.

The documents photographed are reports written by Colonel Boualem Bennacer when he was consul in Alicante, Spain. Reports on investigations carried out into the assets of Khaled Nezzar and his son Lotfi in Spain.  Specifically, the locations and identifications that Bennacer Boualem had succeeded in making in order to locate and identify, with supporting evidence and documents, the ill-gotten assets of Nezzar and his son Lotfi.

Lotfi Nezzar entre les généraux Benali Benali et Saïd Chengriha aux obsèques de son père le 29 décembre dernier copia
Lotfi Nezzar between generals Benali Benali and Saïd Chengriha at his father's funeral on December 29

Among the assets identified was a 6031m2 plot of bare land in Ametlla de Mar, a seaside tourist resort in the province of Tarragona. In addition to the aforementioned apartment. Investigations also focused on Lotfi Nezzar's bank accounts with Santander, BBVA, UPS, International Bank and HSBC Spain.

Total assets amounted to almost 300 million euros, divided between various investments. Yet Lotfi Nezzar has never carried out any commercial activity in Spain. He has no means of justifying the origin of the funds that enabled him to make these acquisitions before the Spanish or Algerian courts. He is merely a resident with foreigner identification number Y4345583T.

For much less, former ministers and dignitaries of the regime have been sentenced to long prison terms.

Why is the DGDSE now interested in the Nezzar case?

To answer this question, there are two hypotheses. 
The first is to blackmail Lotfi Nezzar, which is the specialty of Colonel Souahi Zerguine, alias Mouad. It's out of the question to let the offspring of a general with a primary school education and who has never worked, have such a fortune at his disposal.

To this fortune must be added his assets in Algeria, the most important of which are an agricultural estate in Bouchaoui belonging to the famous former French colonist Bourgeaud, and a palm grove in Biskra in south-east Algeria. Lotfi Nezzar must share this fortune with the shadowy men of the regime, including those who used it during his father's lifetime. If not, he'll end up leaving his mark.

The second hypothesis is the reopening of the Lotfi Nezzar judicial file and sending him to join the long list of detainees for corruption and financial malfeasance. The decision-makers will have to win the sympathy of the people, and this would not prevent them from using his fortune in Iberia.

Which of the two hypotheses will be retained? Time will tell.