Angola Recovers More Than US$5bn in Stolen Assets

Since the beginning of this year, Angola’s fight against corruption has seen more than five billion US dollars in assets recovered both locally and internationally, the country’s state news agency ANGOP reported on Tuesday. 

José Eduardo dos Santos 16062014 edit 1José Eduardo dos Santos. (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br])The money was stolen from state coffers, including $3 billion only from the Sovereign Wealth Fund which was to promote growth, prosperity and social and economic development across Angola.  

The fund was headed by the former President’s son, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, who was arrested in September for corruption

Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz said in Abu Dhabi during the 8th Conference of States that are parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (COSP).  

In a press release released after his announcement, Queiroz praised international partners who helped recover the funds but did not reveal details about how it was stolen, reports Al Jazeera

The Minister added that Angolan institutions are now more specialized, adding that the Attorney General Office (PGR), the Criminal Investigation Service, the Financial Intelligence Unit, or the State Administration's Inspectorate are much better prepared today. 

“The courts themselves act with greater sensitivity. (With) a celerity vision more appropriate to the moment,” Queiroz admitted.

 "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that these important resources should be returned unconditionally to the countries from which they were illegally withdrawn in order to be used to improve the quality of life of our populations," Queiroz said according to ANGOP. He complained that some countries are not willing to cooperate. 

The anti-corruption campaign began after former President José Eduardo dos Santos retired and left the country. Son Jose Filomeno is currently facing money-laundering and embezzlement charges.