Justice Minister: Draft law against speculation aims to combat those who waged a war against citizens

ALGIERS- The Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Abderrachid Tabi, affirmed, Tuesday in Algiers, that the draft law on the fight against speculation came to combat the big speculators who “waged a war against citizens” and made of the purchasing power “the best platform for threatening the stability of society.”

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ALGIERS- The Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Abderrachid Tabi, affirmed, Tuesday in Algiers, that the draft law on the fight against speculation came to combat the big speculators who “waged a war against citizens” and made of the purchasing power “the best platform for threatening the stability of society.”

In response to the concerns of the deputies raised during the session devoted to discussing the draft law, the minister explained that the law was prepared in a special circumstance to put an end to “the big speculators who found in the purchasing power of citizens the best ground, after exhausting all maneuvers, to threaten the stability of society.”

He added that the scarcity of some basic products experienced by our country is a “premeditated act,” and this draft law came to combat these speculators, and therefore the severity of the penalties included in the text presented for discussion is normal and not exaggerated against those who “waged a war against citizens.”

With regard to the punishment of those who resort to storing materials, especially those of large consumption, and the penalties included in the text of the draft law in this regard, the Minister of Justice explained that they concern “unjustified or artificial storage to create scarcity and increase prices.”

The minister highlighted that illegal speculation is defined by the provisions of this draft as “every storage or concealment of goods and merchandise with the aim of causing a scarcity in the market or disturbance in supply.” through an intermediary or by using electronic means or any other fraudulent means and methods.

The draft also defines illegal speculation – the minister adds – as “deliberately promoting false or fake news with the aim of causing disruption in the market and raising prices in a surprising and unjustified manner” as well as “acting individually or collectively or based on agreements for the purpose of obtaining an unjustified profit not generated by the natural application of supply and demand.”

It also defines the mechanisms for combating illegal speculation with the aim of “ensuring balance in the market and maintaining price stability.” He also “did not overlook the role of local communities in combating” this scourge and “reducing it, as well as engaging the civil society and the media in the sensitization process in order to promote a consumer culture.

This project enables the Public Prosecutor to automatically initiate public action in relation to these crimes.

With regard to the penal provisions of this draft law, the minister stated that it provides for custodial sentences and financial penalties based on a logical scale of whereby the penalty is toughened if the crime relates to basic products such as grains and their derivatives, milk, oil, sugar and pulses and can go up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of 10 million Dinars, and the penalty is increased to 30 years in prison and a fine of 20 million dinars in the event that the crime is committed in exceptional situations such as emergency health crisis, the outbreak of an epidemic or a disaster.

The penalty shall be life imprisonment if the crime is committed by an organized criminal group.

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