Angola: Manuel Vicente denounces diversion

Former vice-president of Angola Manuel Vicente denied having appropriated 193 million euros from Sonangol, as the former manager of Isabel dos Santos denounced, and calls the accusation “an unseemly diversion”.

The former advisor to businesswoman Isabel dos Santos at Sonangol, Mário Leite da Silva, complained to international regulators about a “false contract” that would have injured the Angolan oil company in 193 million euros in 2005, saying that the document is part of the judicial process of seizure of assets by Isabel dos Santos, her husband Sindika Dokolo and himself.

In a note sent to Lusa, Manuel Vicente repudiates and denies the accusation and says that "the imputation clearly false" is "illustrative of the bad faith and / or the unconfessed interests of its authors", adding that he will react to the complaint.

The current MPLA deputy and former Sonangol president adds that it is not the first time that "in this apparent and unfortunate setting, false and serious attacks" have appeared and that they are nothing more than "unseemly amusement maneuvers".

Manuel Vicente also considers that it is being used in “other people's communication and procedural defense strategies”, in a reference to the processes in which Isabel dos Santos, her husband and some employees are targeted.

Mário Leite da Silva, who was chairman of the board of directors of Banco de Fomento Angola when the businesswoman controlled the institution, says he was aware of the “false contract” by analyzing documents he made after being the subject of a civil lawsuit brought by the court. Angolan.

At stake is Sonangol's agreement, then led by Manuel Vicente, with Amorim Energia to enter Galp's capital. To this end, Sonangol formed the Esperaza joint-venture with Exem Energy, owned by Isabel dos Santos, with 60% falling to the oil company and the remaining 40% to the entrepreneur. Subsequently, Esperaza holds 45% of the capital of Amorim Energia, a holding that has a 33,34% position in the Portuguese oil company. Indirectly, Angolans thus control 15% of Galp.

According to the Angolan court, Esperaza's initial capital, amounting to 193 million euros, was invested in its entirety by the Angolan oil company, which claims in court the amount owed that would correspond to the part of the businesswoman.

Leite da Silva accuses the Angolan Public Prosecutor's Office of acting "in surrogacy" to Sonangol's interests in order to obtain, "as he did", the seizure of the assets of Isabel dos Santos, from the husband of the businesswoman, the Congolese Sindika Dokolo, and his own.

In the complaint made to the regulators, the Portuguese manager stresses that the “contract” in question “incorporates the crime of forgery of document and use of false document” and indicates the “illegal withdrawal of public funds from Sonangol” and the practice, on the part of Manuel Vicente, of crimes of appropriation - embezzlement, abuse of trust or fraud - economic participation in business, “as well as the laundering of the respective values”.

The letter signed by Mário Leite da Silva was sent from Lisbon on September 11 to Banco de Portugal, Banco Nacional de Angola, De Nederlandsche Bank, European Central Bank, ABN AMRO Bank, Banco Comercial Português, Bank of America, Standard Chartered Bank and to the European Parliament.

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