Angola Seeks External Support to Clarify Money Scandal

Luanda — The Attorney General of the Republic, Hélder Pitta Groz, announced Tuesday that the Angolan judicial authorities have resorted to international cooperation in order to help locate and seize new assets covered by "Operation Crab.

As part of the investigations into this operation, millions of dollars and kwanzas have already been seized in Angola, as well as thousands of euros, property, vehicles and other goods.

The major of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), Pedro Lussaty, former financier of the music band of the President's Security House, has so far been arrested.

In the same way, several general officers with high responsibility positions in the President's Security House have been removed from office in the last few days as part of the operation.

According to the Attorney General, it is not yet possible to quantify all the assets under investigation, as there is a possibility that some are registered outside the country.

"There are assets that are here in Angola and others outside the country. We have already set international cooperation in motion to help us identify and locate these assets, so that they can be seized," Pitta Gróz said.

According to the magistrate, who was speaking to the press on the sidelines of a meeting on the phenomenon of vandalisation of public property, it is still premature to talk about the timeframe for the outcome of this case, and investigations may be delayed due to the fact that there are goods outside the country.

He said, on the other hand, that the Attorney General's Office has not issued, so far, any exit ban to the officers allegedly involved in the case, stressing, however, that, as military personnel, they cannot leave Angola without authorisation, under the Military Law in force.

Hélder Pitta Gróz suggested the possibility that there may be others implicated and collaborators of Major Pedro Lussaty. "I believe that he did not do it alone. There may be someone else", he declared.

He reaffirmed that the Attorney General's Office, in partnership with the security services and the Criminal Investigation Services (SIC) continue to investigate the case, in order to clarify how various assets were constituted by Major Lussaty, saying that there have already been some advances in the investigations.

Remember that, under the Constitution of the Republic, every citizen enjoys the right of presumption of innocence and can only be considered guilty after being sentenced.

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