Ver Angola

Defense

Minister of Energy and Water investigated by the Portuguese Justice

João Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water, is in the sights of Portuguese justice. The Portuguese Public Prosecutor decided to open an investigation into the holder of the Energy and Water portfolio on suspicions of money laundering.

:

According to a TVI investigation, the minister, together with one of his sons, opened an offshore company when he was already serving in government. Although it is not known what is the activity carried out by this company, which has an apartment in Lisbon, several invoices have been issued to another company, located in the free zone of Madeira.

In addition to the offshore company in Lisbon, TVI also reveals that it had access to documents from the international consortium of investigative journalists, where it discovered the name of João Baptista Borges when setting up an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands, also when it was already working in the Executive.

The Portuguese Public Prosecutor's Office investigation also serves to clarify some suspicions related to other members of the family of the holder of the Energy and Water portfolio. This is the case of his nephew, Ricardo Borges, who, according to the Portuguese television channel, owns several companies and who in recent years has been able to sign several millionaire contracts in the energy sector.

However, the contracts are said to have been made indirectly through other companies: the Chinese company Hong Kong Yongda Holding is said to have subcontracted the company Divermind - which belongs to the nephew and one of João Baptista Borges' sons - to help with public contracts in the energy sector in Angola, for almost one million euros.

TVI also explains that there is another company with the same name in Portugal, also owned by the minister's nephew. This Divermind has registered luxury cars, an apartment in Lisbon and a building in Porto.

The company, located in Lisbon, opened activity in 2018 and half a year later will have started to circulate money. It was one of those movements that sounded the bank's alarms: when it passed one of the Portuguese banks, the bank was forced to report its suspicions regarding the crime of money laundering to the police.

After investigating the complaint, the PJ Financial Intelligence Unit passed the information on to the Public Prosecutor's Office, which decided to open the investigation.

Besides Diverminds, Ricardo Borges owns other companies. This is the case of Plurienergia, which signed a contract worth 500,000 euros with Ambergol. The amount will have been paid into an account in Portugal.

TVI reveals yet that the minister's nephew has opened two more offshores, this time in the United Arab Emirates (Plurienergia Limited and Plurienergia DWC). Later, one of his companies will have been hired to integrate another project related to the energy area. The company is presented as having a vast experience but, according to the research, at the time it only existed one year ago. However, the contract is established and the money transferred to Portugal.

The channel requested an interview with the minister and received no reply. The Bank of Portugal and the Public Prosecutor's Office have not commented on the case and the Angolan Attorney General's Office has not confirmed or denied whether any proceedings are in progress in connection with João Baptista Borges.