ALVARO Sobrinho, the former director of Banco Espirito Santo Angola (BESA), has filed a criminal complaint at the Angola Attorney-General’s Office against Adalberto da Costa Junior, the current president of the main opposition Unita party. Adalberto is regarded as the ‘Golden Girl’ of the opposition.
Sobrinho’s complaint is in relation to Adalberto’s statement on the Rethink Angola programme broadcast on YouTube on September 5 about the ‘existence of over $1bn of funds, diverted from the public purse in Angola, existing in the tax havens of Mauritius and Seychelles of which 70 percent to 80 percent belonged to Sobrinho, Director of BESA.’
Sobrinho also points out that, ‘[Adalberto] claims to have made this known to Isaías Ngola Samakuva, who has contacted the prime ministers of these countries. In addition, the governments of these countries would have tried to return the money to the Republic of Angola, whose government had shown no interest in recovering it.’ Sobrinho added that ‘the participant [Samakuva]said that he had a file, as a result of his investigations, which substantiated his statements and that he tried to use this information in the National Assembly, where he said that he had requested a Commission of Inquiry.’
Refuting Adalberto da Costa Júnior’s allegations, Sobrinho states that ‘he has not and never had $700 or 800 million in Mauritius.’ In Seychelles his investment is ‘equal to zero’ and in Mauritius, it does not exceed $20 million. ‘In all circumstances, there was never any amount of funds directly or indirectly from the public purse.’
The former director of BESA also states in the criminal complaint that ‘referring to Álvaro Sobrinho, as corrupt and inventing facts about funds diverted from the public purse and deposited in tax havens, it is evident that there’s a wilful intent to offend the complainant and damage his good name and reputation.’
In her reaction, Adalberto argued that she had in the past made several complaints about the disputes that marked BESA’s bankruptcy in 2014 then headed by Álvaro Sobrinho. According to former shareholders, Sobrinho’s dealings led to the bankruptcy of BESA Angola.
Almost 90 days after the complaint was filed, nothing has been heard, leading analysts to believe that the allegations have been shelved.