Americans detained in Angola

2012-02-02 18:21

Luanda - Two American music promoters were detained for fraud in Angola after US rap star Nas failed to pitch up for a New Year's concert, their business partner's lawyer said on Thursday.

Patrick Allocco and his son are being held responsible after Nas didn't perform though he was paid up front, said Joao Barros, who represents their long-time Angolan business partner Henrique Miguel.

They were detained and released in January, but are awaiting trial for fraud, Barros said.

"My client did his part in paying around $300 000," Barros told AFP, likening the Alloccos to "an organisation of anarchists".

"Everything was ready for the concert, but the day of the event the rapper wasn't there."

Miguel claims the Alloccos refused to reimburse the money.

"They preferred leaving Angola without his [Miguel's] knowledge, which is why he had them arrested by the police, and laid a case against them to be reimbursed," said Barros.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday the Alloccos had been refused refuge at the embassy in Luanda.

Refugee criteria

"We did not find, in this case, that Mr Allocco met the criteria for refuge. However, we did bring him into the embassy temporarily. My understanding is we gave him some clothes and some medicine," Nuland told a news conference.

Nuland, however, said that the failed concert was not the reason for the refuge request.

"There were other circumstances that led to this."

In a video posted to video-sharing website YouTube on January 31, Allocco claims he was abducted with his son, also Patrick, after Nas didn't perform at a New Year concert.

"When he failed to show up for the concert, my son and I were abducted at gunpoint and interrogated for nearly seven hours."

"Since then, Nas has returned the monies but my son and I remain as hostages of the Republic of Angola. We have been falsely accused of crimes."

A Luanda court will rule on the matter later this month, Barros said.

"The Alloccos cannot leave Angola before this matter has been cleared up, which I call a pure scam on their part."

Read more on:    nas  |  angola  |  southern africa  |  music

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