Angola: Ex-president’s son charged with fraud

Jose Filomeno dos Santos accused of the illegal transfer of $500m while head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

President Lourenco came to power last year with a promise of cracking down on corruption [Ampe Rogerio/AFP]

The son of Angola‘s former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been charged with fraud over an alleged illegal transfer of $500m while he was in charge of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, prosecutors said.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos is accused of “fraud, misappropriation of funds, money laundering and associating with criminals,” deputy chief prosecutor Luis Benza Zanga told a media conference on Monday.

Nicknamed “Zenu”, Filomeno dos Santos was appointed to head the $5bn oil-fuelled sovereign fund by his father in 2013, but then was sacked by President Joao Lourenco, who took power in January.

Former Central Bank Governor Valter Filipe da Silva was charged alongside Filomeno dos Santos, Zenga added.

The suspect transfer was made from the fund’s account with the central bank to a London branch of Credit Suisse, but the money was later returned to Angola.

A judge ordered that the two accused be released on bail and forced to surrender their passports.

“There is no leeway for this crime, even if the money has been returned to our country. We’ll see this inquiry through – there will be no excuses,” said Zenga.

Filomeno’s half-sister, Isabel dos Santos, was also sacked from her job as head of state oil giant Sonangol.

Investigators this month opened an inquiry into suspected misappropriation of funds during her time at the helm of Sonangol. Thought to be Africa’s richest woman, she has denied all of the allegations against her.

Dos Santos stepped down last year after 38 years in power. Lourenco, a former defence minister, succeeded him with a promise of cracking down on corruption.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies