Finance Minister Vera Daves de Sousa announced that Angola is considering establishing a specialized fund to manage about $15 billion in assets recovered by the state in anti-corruption investigations.
Since João Lourenço became president in 2017, the government has stepped up efforts to recover assets allegedly stolen during the four-decade-long presidency of his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos.
The National Asset Recovery Service (SENRA) reported that the government had already recovered more than $5.2 billion in misappropriated money, partly in cash and partly in assets, with more than $10 billion added in February 2022 after final court rulings in 715 corruption cases. The assets will be combined into a fund that could focus on real estate and other investment opportunities, according to reports.
Angola’s fight against corruption
Despite recovering approximately $15 billion in stolen assets, SENRA believes there could be more than $100 billion in unrecovered assets that could replenish the investment fund if repatriated.
According to SENRA, members of the dos Santos family, former government officials and ex-managers of state-owned companies illegally transferred about $150 billion abroad between 2001 and 2017.
The process of recovering these assets is complicated as they are spread across many countries around the world, each with their own financial laws.
The Angolan Attorney General’s office reported that requests for cooperation have already been made to Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Bermuda, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Monaco, Malta, the Isle of Man and others.
Retrieving billions of dollars from these countries’ commercial banks could negatively affect their finances, leaving Angola in trouble. Last June, SENRA director Eduarda Rodrigues said Angola needed to find financial mechanisms to repatriate the money without harming other countries.
Part of the solution proposed by Rodrigues is to enter into “asset sharing agreements” with partner countries to repatriate funds to Angola.
These agreements allow part of the proceeds to be returned to the initiating country, providing an additional incentive for cooperation in the execution of confiscation orders.
In this way, Angola can recover some of its stolen assets while minimizing the negative impact on other countries.
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