Ver Angola


Switzerland keeps confiscation of Carlos de São Vicente's assets but will re-examine case

The Federal Court of Geneva accepted the appeal of the Portuguese-Angolan businessman Carlos São Vicente but despite having annulled the judgment, it maintained the forfeiture of the assets while the case is being analyzed in the Swiss Court of Justice.


According to the court's decision, dated 10 March and to which Lusa had access, "the appeal is admitted, the contested sentence is annulled and the case is referred to the Criminal Appeal Chamber of the Court of Justice of the Republic and the Canton of Geneva ".

At issue is the appeal that the entrepreneur's lawyers filed in relation to the November ruling, which determined the retention of the entrepreneur's assets in the context of the money laundering process that is being investigated in Switzerland and Angola, which focuses on the relations between the insurance company AAA, of which the entrepreneur is the sole shareholder, and Sonangol.

The court's decision annuls the sentence that determines the seizure of assets and refers the case to a new appraisal in another court, but maintains the freezing of the assets of the businessman, who has been in detention since 20 September.

The ongoing case in Switzerland dates back to 2018, and in December the Public Prosecutor's Office ordered the seizure of the assets of AAA International, wholly owned by the Portuguese-Angolan businessman, in the amount of 14.2 million Swiss francs, equivalent to almost 13 millions of euros.

"On March 21 and 22, 2019, [the process] continued with the hearing of Carlos Manuel de São Vicente and at the end of this hearing the Public Ministry accused him of money laundering", reads in the presentation of the facts of the agreement now released.

In January last year, the auditor of the AAA Group companies' audit reports was heard and in March the Public Prosecutor's Office requested information from the Angolan authorities regarding the insurer's business practices and relations.

In July, the Public Prosecutor's Office rejected the requests to lift the freezing of the bank account, and in November the Criminal Appeal Chamber of the Court of Justice of the Republic and Canton of Geneva dismissed the appeal filed on August 6 against the Ministry's decision. Public.

AAA International then requests the Federal Court to annul this decision and order the lifting of the order for the seizure of assets or, alternatively, to refer the case to the Criminal Appeal Chamber for a new decision, which has now come to pass. .

"The judgment under appeal must be set aside and the case referred to the previous authority so that it can issue a new decision with sufficient reasoning, which will take into account the new facts that have emerged in the meantime, after having given the appellant the opportunity to comment on them; awaits this new trial, the seizure measure in question is maintained ", is ruled in the judgment.

The order that ordered the preventive detention of Carlos de São Vicente in Luanda states that he carried out "an illegal scheme" that injured the state oil company Sonangol by more than 900 million dollars.