Angola retrieves over $5 billion in stolen assets amid graft crackdown

The money, including 3 billion dollars stolen from the sovereign wealth fund, had been siphoned off by corrupt government officials
Angola retrieves over $5 billion in stolen assets amid graft crackdown

According to Angola’s Justice Minister, Francisco Queiroz, the country has recovered more than five billion dollars stolen from state coffers, both at home and abroad, this year.

The money, including three billion dollars stolen from the sovereign wealth fund, had been siphoned off by corruption and money-laundering.

Queiroz did not give specific details about how the money was stolen.

“We have argued insistently that these important resources should be returned unconditionally to the countries from which they were illegally withdrawn in order to be used to improve the quality of life of our populations,” he was quoted as saying, adding that some countries could do more to help.

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An anti-corruption drive has accelerated in Africa’s second-biggest oil-exporting country since 2017, when Joao Lourenco became president, ending the nearly 40-year grip on power by Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The government wants to erase the influence of the former first family, recover lost assets and privatise state firms.

After taking over, Lourenco dismissed Dos Santos’s son, Jose Filomena de Sousa as head of the sovereign wealth fund and his daughter, Isabel, as chair of state oil company, Sonangol.

Jose Filomena de Sousa went on trial last week along with the head of the country’s central bank on accusations of transferring $500 million in state funds to a London account.

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The government declared that a business partner had returned over three billion dollars allegedly stolen from the sovereign wealth fund.

Members of the Dos Santos family have denied wrongdoing.


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