An Algerian court yesterday sentenced three social media influencers to one year in prison and a 100,000 dinar (€685) fine each, over their involvement in scamming 75 students, local media outlets reported.
According to reports, the Dar El Beïda Court found actor and influencer Farouk Boudjemline, alias Rifka, actress and influencer Numidia Lezoul, and Mohamed Aberkan, otherwise known as Stanley, guilty of scamming the students by using their social media accounts which are followed by millions of young people to promote a firm's packages to students wanting to study abroad. The firm, Future Gate, was found to have conned over 75 people into paying for what they thought would be the cost of pursuing their studies in universities in Ukraine, Turkiye and Russia.
However, upon arrival at these destinations, students found that only the fees of one academic term had been paid, and no accommodation had been sorted out for them.
The court also sentenced the main defendant and owner of the company, Razaki Osama, to seven years in prison, and fined him one million dinars (€6,850). His mother and his partner, a former member of parliament, were also sentenced to one year in prison each.