Ver Angola


PwC consultant studies Angola's accusation without commenting yet

The consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said this Monday that it is analyzing the accusation by the Angolan authorities of having facilitated the damaging management of businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, with no comments yet to be made about the process.

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"We are analyzing the documents issued by the Angolan authorities and we currently have no comments to make", said an official source contacted by Lusa following the accusation of having facilitated the damaging management of the daughter of the former President of Angola and having received in consulting services 10.5 million dollars during his term.

In the order to which Lusa had access, PwC is accused of influence peddling and qualified tax fraud.

The indictment states that the consultant provided services over several years to various companies owned by Isabel dos Santos, while the head of PwC and partner, Sarju Raikundalia, was her financial administrator at the Angolan state oil company.

Mário Leite da Silva, another associate of the Angolan businesswoman and manager in several of her companies, was also linked to the consultancy at the beginning of his career.

PwC is identified as one of several consultants subcontracted by Ironsea/Mater, a company controlled by Isabel dos Santos and her associates, which received payments from Sonangol in duplicate for the same consultancy services allegedly provided as part of the implementation of the Sonangol transformation project.

The document consulted by Lusa states that PwC "covered up" all the illicit actions carried out in connection with the hiring of Ironsea/Mater – a company based in Dubai to which Sonangol made illicit payments – and enabled undue receipts in favor of PwC Portugal abroad, despite PWC Angola having been excluded from the competition held by Sonangol to audit the oil company's accounts in 2016.

Sarju Raikundalia had in the meantime arranged with PWC for it to re-send the proposal to Sonangol, with the administration chaired by Isabel dos Santos deciding in favor of the direct award to the consultant.

"Aware that the defendant PwC Angola did not have the technical capacity to perform this service, without authorization from the Board of Directors, it turned to PwC Portugal, which made around 80 percent of its technicians available", the document reads.

On October 18, 2016, PwC, "in conjunction with the defendants Isabel dos Santos and Sarju Raikundalia, hired PwC Portugal to provide the same audit service, as well as a fee letter worth 3.9 million euros, of which Pwc Angola received only 395,000 euros.

With this contract, PwC Angola and PwC Portugal became Sonangol's external auditors for the year 2016, while Sarju Raikundalia, who was previously a partner at PwC Angola, began to coordinate the work carried out by the consultants, ignoring conflicts of interest existing and the lack of transparency and impartiality, highlights the accusation.

Furthermore, PwC Angola and PwC Portugal issued invoices to Sonangol with the same descriptions, giving rise to double payments and illicit capital outflows to the detriment of the oil company.

As for the audit reports, they were issued intentionally, "without reservation, in a manifest lack of independence and disregard for the flagrant irregularities observed", including fraudulent payments to various entities.

During Isabel dos Santos' term at the head of the state oil company, PwC received 10.5 million dollars under contracts for the provision of audit services.


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