Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Documents reveal route of millions diverted from Sonangol through Lisbon

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Eneias Rodrigues / Lusa

A good part of the 131 million dollars that were diverted from Sonangol to an offshore in Dubai left a bank account in Lisbon and later returned to Portugal. New documents help to trace the route of money from the Angolan oil company when it was led by Isabel dos Santos.

Expresso and SIC had access to bank statements and payment orders from an account of the offshore Matter Business Solutions at the Emirates NBD bank in Dubai, as reported by the weekly.

These documents help to trace the route of the millions who left Sonangol to the offshore when Isabel dos Santos ran the oil company. This is about 131 million dollars.

Expresso notes that “a good part of Sonangol’s money left an account in Lisbon“At Eurobic,“ he passed through Matter’s account in Dubai and returned to Lisbon“, Having been distributed to several accounts in several banks.

Thus, “almost all the money paid to consultants and lawyers through Matter it ended up in bank accounts in Lisbon, excluding the case of the consultant McKinsey, who received US $ 15.4 million in an account at Bankinter in Madrid ”, points out the same weekly.

As three major international consultants who worked with Isabel dos Santos at Sonangol – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey – never revealed how much money they received, nor what services justify those payments.

But Expresso highlights that more than half of the 131 million dollars invoiced by Matter to Sonangol in 2017, ended up in the accounts of BCG (31.2 million), PwC (21.4 million) and McKinsey (15.4 million).

Of the total “cake”, $ 5.3 million was intended to pay to the law firm Vieira de Almeida (VdA) and about $ 20 million ended up in consultancy and management with connections to Isabel dos Santos or people close to you.

Expresso notes, in particular, that $ 1.9 million was “transferred to Fidequity and for Santoro“, Isabel dos Santos companies that were run by Mário Leite da Silva, former advisor to the Angolan businesswoman at Sonangol.

A Portuguese branch of Youcall, a company 70% owned by Isabel dos Santos and 30% by friend Paula Oliveira, received another 3.4 million dollars.

Unable to track the final destination of 31.5 million of dollars left in the account in Dubai.

A Luanda Leaks investigation revealed that it was Mário Leite da Silva who took Matter Business Solutions to Dubai in 2016, having been declared the sole shareholder of the company Paula Oliveira, a figure very close to Isabel dos Santos.

After this move to Dubai, the Matter signed a contract with Sonangol which linked the oil company to pay offshore “all past and future consulting services”, without including “value limits”, as highlighted by Expresso.

The contract was signed five days before Isabel dos Santos was fired Sonangol by the then newly elected President of Angola João Lourenço.

This contract was one of the reasons that led the Attorney General of the Republic of Angola to open a criminal investigation with Isabel dos Santos in the center for suspected embezzlement, abuse of power, criminal association and money laundering.

ZAP ZAP //

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Documents reveal route of millions diverted from Sonangol through Lisbon