JOHANNESBURG - Angola has recouped $500 million that was frozen in an HSBC Holdings Plc account in London linked to alleged fraud involving Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of the former president José Eduardo dos Santos, according to the Finance Ministry, Bloomberg reported.
The funds were part of $1.5 billion that the Angolan government was to pay Mais Financial Services, a company managed by a person close to Dos Santos, for the start-up of a $35 billion strategic investment fund for state projects and another that would place $300 million weekly in the local-currency market, the ministry said in an emailed statement Monday.
The funds were paid by Angola into the HSBC account held by PerfectBit, a company contracted by Mais, in August.
Following a due-diligence exercise carried out by the finance ministry it was discovered that PerfectBit was a dormant company.
Former central bank Governor Valter Filipe da Silva then asked HSBC to freeze the funds held in the account.
Last month, Angolan authorities named Dos Santos, the former head of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, Da Silva and several other people suspects in relation to the $500 million transfer.
New President Joao Lourenco has pledged to fight widespread corruption since taking control of Africa’s second-biggest oil producer in September from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled for 38 years and remains the leader of the ruling party, Bloomberg reported.
Angola ranks among the world’s 20 most-corrupt countries in the world, according to Berlin-based Transparency International.
- African News Agency (ANA)