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PRETORIA, December 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Founder of the biggest in history of the country financial pyramid billionaire Rafik Khalifa has been extradited to Algeria. As Algerian media reported on Wednesday, in compliance of an agreement with British authorities, he was brought from London, where since 2003 he was hiding from the investigation of fake bankruptcy and embezzlement.
In spring 2007, the court of Algerian city of Blida gave Khalifa a life sentence in absentia, finding him guilty of embezzlement of 3.2 billion dinars (over €320 million) entrusted by the depositors of his bank. All these years, the UK delayed the charlatan’s extradition.
Khalifa is the son of one of the ministers of the first government after Algeria declared independence. A pharmacist by training, in 1998, he founded the bank in his own name, where lured many customers with promises of unusually high returns from investments. It was the first private bank in Algeria since the beginning of liberalization of the economy and the general nationalization. Then he established an air carrier, Khalifa Airways, and a TV broadcaster in France, Khalifa-TV.