Money embezzled by the clan of the ex-Angolan president: Here is the huge amount that the authorities have recovered

Corruption and waste of public funds under the regime of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled this oil country for 38 years – from 1979 to 2017 – caused severe damage to the Angolan economy. It is evident from the staggering figures on the sums recovered by the authorities in the fight against corruption. A conflict that particularly affects the dos Santos clan and those close to it.

Thus, a total of $16 billion in assets and funds has been recovered, according to Eduarda Rodriguez, director of the Angolan National Service for Asset Recovery (SENRA), citing Portuguese agency Lusa. This is money embezzled in acts of corruption and spread in Angola and around the world and recovered after final judgments issued by the courts.

However, the bulk of public funds is still far from recovery when we consider that according to data from the National Asset Recovery Service, members of the dos Santos family, former government officials and former state executives have illegally moved about $150 billion offshore. 2001 and 2017.

According to the same sources, the authorities are waiting for the end of other legal procedures to recover the equivalent of another $21 billion in misappropriated assets scattered in Angola and abroad.

The recovered assets which are in the process of being recovered relate to real estate, businesses, shares in listed companies, cars, cash deposited in bank accounts, etc. These are illegitimate assets. Part of this property was recovered from the vast fortunes amassed by those close to former President José Eduardo dos Santos, especially members of his family.

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If the late president, whom Forbes named the richest head of state on the continent in 2014, wasn’t worried about his successor, neither was the case for his children. It must be said that the former president is accused of bringing the country and its economy under control for the benefit of his family and loved ones.

His successor, former Defense Minister Joao Lourenco, elected in 2017, hastened to launch an operation with his own hands, after removing the former close guard of Jose Eduardo dos Santos from all decision-making bodies within the ruling party, public institutions and institutions. And many leaders of its institutions and public companies close to the former president are now targeted by justice.

Thus, his son Jose Filomeno dos Santos, who headed the Angolan sovereign fund responsible for investing part of the oil revenues, and whose country is the second largest producer on the continent after Nigeria, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2020 because he embezzled up to 1.5 billion dollars when He was at the head of the Angolan Sovereign Fund.

Her daughter, Isabel dos Santos, who was once the richest woman in Africa, is now wanted by the Angolan authorities. She is accused of embezzling more than $1 billion, with other partners, from the accounts of Sonagol (Angolan oil company) which she headed and those of Endiama (diamond company). In 2020, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) accused Isabel dos Santos of embezzling large sums of money from the country’s coffers. Accusations refuted by members of the dos Santos family.

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In order to better manage this aphid, the Angolan authorities are considering creating a fund dedicated to the management of this recovered heritage for the benefit of the state and Angolan citizens.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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