Former governor of Luanda probed over graft

Higino Carneiro, was a senior government figure during the rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

An influential former governor of the Angolan capital Luanda is under investigation for corruption and money laundering, the attorney general said Wednesday, in the latest move against allegedly crooked officials.

Higino Carneiro, also a former public works minister, was a senior government figure during the rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in 2017 after 38 years in power.

Dos Santos’s successor, Joao Lourenco, has vowed to tackle corruption and has removed many figures associated with the previous regime, including deposing Dos Santos’ daughter from the helm of state oil giant Sonangol.

General Carneiro was appointed governor of Luanda by dos Santos in 2016 before Lourenco transferred him to become second deputy speaker in parliament after the 2017 election.

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In a statement, the attorney general’s office said Carneiro was being investigated for alleged embezzlement, corruption, abuse of power and money-laundering while governor of Luanda.

It said that he had been ordered to not leave the country and to report to authorities regularly.

Carneiro, who was on the central committee of the ruling MPLA party under dos Santos, also has a business empire of hotels, construction and real estate and is reportedly one of Angola’s richest men.

Last year Lorenco used his state-of-the-nation address to vow to press on in his fight against corruption and to kickstart the ailing economy by attracting foreign investment to end Angola’s dependence on oil revenue.

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