The Algerian authorities are investigating seven Algerian businesspeople on corruption charges after confiscating their passports, reported Ennahar TV on Monday.
The investigations included the families and relatives of the businessmen accused of corruption; the TV station quoted sources.
News about the investigation was released after Algerian media announced on Sunday the arrest of Ali Haddad, a prominent businessman who is known for his close ties with President Bouteflika, while he was about to leave the country through a border crossing with Tunisia.
Local news websites indicated that the Algerian authorities issued a travel ban list that included state officials, political figures, and people in business. Thus, the arrest of Haddad was based on such a list.
The Algerian foreign ministry denied on Friday that the authorities had confiscated diplomatic passports from local officials to prevent them from leaving the country.
Algeria has been endured a political crisis for more than a month after the outbreak of a popular uprising demanding the departure of Bouteflika.
However, the protesters and opposition parties quickly rejected such a decision that extends the mandate of 82-year-old Bouteflika without elections until the end of his presidential term on 28 April.
In response to this dilemma, Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah called last Tuesday for the activation of Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution as a solution to preserve the sovereignty of the country and respond to the demands of Algerian people.
According to the content of Article 102, in the case of the vacancy of the position of the president, the president of the Council of the Nation is to be appointed as president of the Republic temporarily for 45 days, during which presidential elections are organised.