From the Field
Swiss release some Angola SWF funds
LUANDA, July 13, 2018 – The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has unblocked about USD 60 million of funds seized in an investigation into money laundering at Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, international media reported Friday.
“In these proceedings, which are still ongoing, the OAG initially froze around USD 210 million of assets. The OAG has already unfrozen USD 60 million held by the Angolan sovereign wealth fund. The funds were unfrozen because their use by unauthorised third parties could be ruled out,” Reuters quoted the OAG as saying.
Swiss authorities began the investigation in April after reports that National Bank of Angola and sovereign wealth fund assets had been misappropriated. In March the Angolan prosecutor general’s office charged José Filomeno dos Santos, son of former President José Eduardo dos Santos and former head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, with fraud.
President João Lourenço had removed José Filomeno dos Santos as head of the sovereign wealth fund in January. President Lourenço also removed Isabel dos Santos from her post as head of Sonangol in November 2017. She had been appointed as head of Sonangol by her father in June 2016, after the company’s board was sacked by presidential decree.