Ver Angola

Defense

Prosecution points Manuel Vicente as partner of businessman Carlos de São Vicente

The former vice-president of Angola and ex-president of Sonangol, Manuel Vicente, is pointed out, in the accusation order of the businessman Carlos de São Vicente, as the partner with whom the accused will have set up "a plan for the illegal appropriation of income and profits ".

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The justice, in the order of prosecution against the Portuguese-Angolan Carlos de São Vicente to which Lusa had access, considers that the former number two of President José Eduardo dos Santos gave up, when he was president of the administration of Sonangol, the participation of the state oil company at the AAA Seguros insurance company to the defendant, free of charge and without the knowledge of the other administrators.

This transfer of ownership of the insurance company, which has a monopoly on oil insurance in the country, allowed Carlos São Vicente to create a business empire, which is now targeted by justice for tax fraud of more than one billion, among other crimes.

Between 2000 and November 2005, Carlos São Vicente, who had been a member of the state oil company Sonangol since 1983, served as risk management director, an area that dealt with workers' insurance and all oil activities. Manuel Vicente was president of the Board of Directors (PCA) of Sonangol between 1999 and January 2012, even before being vice president of the Republic.

In this period, in which they crossed the two positions, according to the prosecuting order, to which Lusa had access, and based on the Law of Petroleum Activities, the State developed a strategy for managing risks in oil operations.

Thus, in this new context, and "in the sense of shaping Sonangol's insurance activity. EP., On April 1, 1999, at the initiative of the defendant [Carlos Manuel de São Vicente], this [Sonangol] holding 100 percent of the capital social, was created as an International Reinsurer, an offshore company called Mirabilis Insurance Limited ", in Bermuda.

Because, according to Manuel Vicente [who was heard by the Public Ministry in the context of this process, but not charged], "all the other significant oil companies in the world had captive insurers in that country".

This was the moment from which Carlos de São Vicente, "duly jointly [combined] with the declarant Manuel Vicente, started to devise a plan for the illegal appropriation of income and profits, which would be produced with the implementation of the insurance system. and reinsurance in the oil exploration sector, with a view to evading the country's currency and illicit enrichment ", reads in the order of prosecution.

As of 2001, any international oil company had an obligation to create a partnership with Sonangol Holding.

In the same year, with the publication of another decree, co-insurance for petroleum risks was established, covering all operations in progress in Angola, "which removed the monopoly then attributed to the public company ENSA, granting it to AAA Seguros ".

Sonangol's risk management department was responsible for implementing the strategy and risk management of oil activities and Carlos São Vicente "the mission of negotiating with the companies the terms of oil exploration and production contracts".

In 2000, AAA Serviços Financeiros had already been set up, presented as a holding company, as the coordinator of activities in Angola and included four subsidiaries, with the State having 100% of the share capital of all of them.

In order to globalize the company AAA, the "defendant with the connivance of the declarant Manuel Vicente, opportunely used the then offshore Mirabilis Reinsurance Limited, based in Bermuda, changing its name, in 2003, to AAA Reinsurance Limited", reads in the prosecuting order.

"With the structure conceived above, from the beginning of its constitution, unusually, through a 'verbal agreement' established between the defendant and the declarant Manuel Vicente, it was established that the degree of Sonangol's participation in the AAA Group, should go reduced and, in return, the defendant's position would gradually increase as a shareholder of AAA Seguros Lda, over time ", the document said.

Meanwhile, Carlos São Vicente was appointed by Manuel Vicente to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors (PCA) of AAA Seguros SA, at a time when "in a manifest and stark act of conflict of interest, the defendant also exercised the function of director. "in the oil company, it highlights the accusation.

"Since that time, the relationship between Sonangol EP and the AAA group of companies has been directly and conveniently established between the defendant and the declarant Manuel Vicente, the latter being responsible for Risk Management supervision within the framework of the board of directors" of oil industry.

"Since 2001, putting the defendant into practice the 'verbal agreement' established with the declarant Manuel Vicente and with the implementation of the business and the insurance monopoly attributed to AAA Seguros SA, without any benefit for Sonangol EP, the shareholder structure of the AAA group began to undergo several substantial changes ", refer the promoters.

"It was thus, that with the assignments of large shares 'presented' by the declarant Manuel Vicente, without authorization from the competent authority and, taking advantage of its quality as PCA of Sonangol EP, it allowed the drastic reduction of the shares held by Sonangol EP at AAA Seguros SA, from 100 percent to 10 percent for the benefit of the defendant, who thus became the majority holder of 87.89 percent of the capital ".

For justice, "the changes that took place and (...) culminated in the loss of Sonangol EP's status as majority shareholder of the AAA group, to the benefit of the defendant, were artfully triggered, under the false appearance of that all legal formalities were fulfilled ".

In addition, the sessions chaired by Manuel Vicente on the board of directors of Sonangol, which resulted in deliberations made by the Board and, as a result, linked the remaining members of the management of the oil company, with a view to assigning AAA's shares, "were held absence "of the other elements of the administration, accuse the prosecutors.