The Half-a-Billion-Dollar Scam of Espírito Santo Bank in Angola

In the plunder that has been carried out in Angola, little has been said about the extraordinary role of Portuguese facilitators – especially bank executives, lawyers and intermediaries – in setting up related operations. Little is also said about the extremely harmful role they play in Angola, while pretending to be above reproach. Maka Angola brings to light the US $518.5 million operation orchestrated in 2013 by José Fernando Faria de Bastos, a Portuguese lawyer living in Angola, and Rui Guerra, a Portuguese citizen and then-CEO of Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA). Let us start on June 28, 2013. On that day, BESA carried out five credit operations to five shell companies totalling US $379 million. This operation financed the purchase of assets of Espírito Santo Commerce (Escom), 66 percent owned by the Espírito Santo Group (GES) of Portugal, and 30 percent by the Portuguese-Angolan citizen Hélder Bataglia. An addendum […]

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Banco Espírito Santo Angola’s Toxic Loans to the Elite

Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA) is faced with serious financial problems caused by bad loans to the tune of US$6.5 billion including US$1.5 billion in interest, Maka Angola has learnt from reliable sources. During Álvaro Sobrinho’s tenure as chairman of the bank’s executive committee (2002-2013), BESA took to granting astronomical loans, mostly to well-known figures in the Angolan regime, including several members of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) Politburo. Since 2013 the chairman of BESA’s board is an MPLA Politburo member, António Paulo Kassoma, who has served as prime minister and speaker of the National Assembly. According to information obtained by Maka Angola, the bank had made loans totalling nearly US$200 million with Álvaro Sobrinho as the main beneficiary. The bank now wants to recoup this loan. Eugénio Neto “Geny Neto”, the vice chairman of Espírito Santo Commerce (Escom) in Angola, has been named as […]

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