Angolan ex-strongman's son planned to steal $1.5 bln: govt

Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)
Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)

Luanda - The son of Angola's former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos planned to siphon off $1.5 billion when he ran the oil-rich country's sovereign wealth fund, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The figure is three times higher than an initial sum illegally transferred to a London bank.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos is accused of "fraud, misappropriation of funds, money laundering and associating with criminals."

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

Former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva has been charged alongside Filomeno dos Santos, who has promised to "cooperate" with the authorities.

The younger dos Santos has been placed under judicial control.

The finance ministry said Filomeno dos Santos disguised the transfer as a project aimed at attracting investment in Angola with the help of a fake guarantee from Credit Suisse.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

The Swiss bank told AFP that "documents had been forged" and that it had not received "any money relating to this case."

The finance ministry said $500 million had been transferred to a London bank and that Angola was supposed to make two more such payments.

The first transfer was blocked by British authorities who suspected foul play.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled Angola for 38 years with an iron grip. During his regime he was accused of running the country's economy to enrich himself and those around him.

Filomeno's half-sister Isabel dos Santos was also sacked from her job as head of state oil giant Sonangol. Thought to be Africa's richest woman, she has denied all allegations.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
37% - 2316 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1678 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2298 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.92
(+0.51)
ZAR/GBP
20.79
(+1.11)
ZAR/EUR
18.08
(+0.93)
ZAR/AUD
11.60
(+1.82)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.50)
Gold
1764.71
(-0.33)
Silver
26.76
(-2.65)
Platinum
1198.00
(-1.39)
Brent Crude
66.03
(-0.11)
Palladium
2357.50
(-1.54)
All Share
66076.85
(-2.08)
Top 40
60711.88
(-2.18)
Financial 15
12150.76
(-1.49)
Industrial 25
85956.65
(-1.02)
Resource 10
67638.70
(-3.88)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo