China’s telecoms vendors Huawei and ZTE have been banned from tendering for state business in Algeria for two years. The two companies were also fined approximately $38 000 each, after three of their officials were found guilty of various economic crimes including  “corruption, influence peddling and money laundering” between 2003 and 2006.

Algerian media reports named Algere Telecom executive, Mohamed Boukhari, and businessman Chami Madjdoub as having been found guilty receiving illegal payments and money laundering to conceal the sources of those payments.

The two men were sentenced to 18 years in prison, have had their property confiscated and been fined DZD 5 million (approximately US$64,000) each.

Three Chinese officials who were assigned to ZTE and Huawei, Dong Tao, Chen Zhibo and Xiao Chuhfa were sentenced in their absentia to 10 years in prison and an international arrest warrant has been issued for their extradition back to Algeria.

ZTE said it was looking into the court’s decision, while Huawei said they are taking “this matter very seriously” and are currently reviewing the court’s decision.

The two companies say they are victims of the crimes committed.