Angola: The son of former President charged and banned from leaving the country

The son of the former Angolan president, José Filomeno dos Santos, has been formally indicted for ordering a transfer deemed suspect of 500 million dollars.

His passport is confiscated, it is forbidden to leave the territory. He is being prosecuted for “fraud, embezzlement, trading in influence, money laundering and criminal association”. This is a new blow for the family of José Eduardo dos Santos.

The name of José Filomeno dos Santos had already been cited in the Panama Papers, suspected of having diverted some of the money from the sovereign fund of Angola he chaired. Until “Zenú”, as he is known, is removed from office by President João Lourenço.

This time, the case seems equally serious since it is accused of ordering the transfer of half a billion dollars from the Central Bank to a private account in Britain, a few weeks before the end of his father’s mandate. All with the complicity of the former governor of the Central Bank, Valter Filipe da Silva, already indicted for ten days.

“Their homes and offices were searched, documents and other evidence were seized, computers, USB keys and so on,” said Deputy Attorney General Luís Benza Zanga.

All this material is at the disposal of the scientific police for analysis. These citizens have already been heard as accused and they were applied the usual measures, including the prohibition to leave the national territory. As they are under judicial control, they will have to report regularly to the authorities.

This $500 million is not lost for the Angolan government, Britain who found the suspicious transfer froze the money and promises to return it to Angola.

This whole affair was revealed this January by the investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist Rafael Marques, who is currently being tried in Luanda for denouncing another case of corruption and whose next hearing is scheduled for 16 April.

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