Angola: Businessman São Vicente Interrogated By Pgr

Luanda — Angolan businessman Carlos Manuel de São Vicente was on Tuesday in Luanda grilled by the competent department of the Attorney General's Office (PGR) on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and traffic of influence.

The information is carried in Tuesday's edition of the State-owned daily paper Jornal de Angola that quotes a PGR source.

According to the paper, the former CEO of the AAA insurance company was questioned for about three hours by the PGR's National Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DNIAP).

Quoting its source, the daily paper explained that the interrogation was suspended on Tuesday due to normal procedures and is proceeding today.

On the same issue, the State-run Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) said Carlos Manuel de São Vicente assisted by two lawyers appeared before two DNIAP magistrates for questioning.

The interrogation occurs a week after the PGR seized 49 percent of AAA Activos Lda's shares in the Standard Bank de Angola, SA, run by Carlos São Vicente.

The seizures went in response to a lawsuit that followed suspicions of fraud, illicit participation in businesses, traffic of influence and money laundering.

Also seized by the State are three AAA buildings in Luanda and the IU and IKA hotels networks, all in the capital.

The warrant of arrest includes the AAA buildings around the country, except those being currently run by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

In a press release, the Standard Bank de Angola, SA (SBA) says it was formally notified by the PGR competent department on the seizure of the said 49 percent of the AAA Activos Lda's shares in the SBA.

The SBA says it has been cooperating with the concerned authorities and working in articulation with the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA), the country's central bank.

The note further explains that the case does not involve the Standard Bank de Angola, but only its main shareholder, AAA Activos, Lda, neither does it affect the SBA daily operations and executive management.

On Friday last week, the director of the PGR National Service for Recovery of Assets, Eduarda Rodrigues, met in Berna with the judicial authorities of Switzerland, having discussed in depth the case in which Usd 900 million were illegally deposited in an account of the Angolan businessman Carlos de São Vicente and eventually frozen in the Helvetic country.

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