Ernesto Manuel Norberto Garcia, former director of the Technical Unit for Private Investment (UTIP) and former spokesman for MPLA, was one of the defendants in the case known as "Thai scam", an alleged attempt to defraud the state of 50 billion dollars, of which he was eventually acquitted.
In question would be a supposed attempt to circumvent the state in 50 billion dollars thesis contested by the defense, arguing that it was a private investment initiative.
Among the 11 defendants were Thai citizens, Raveeroj Ritchoteanan, Manin Wanitchanon, Monthita Pribwai and Theera Buapeng, the Angolans Ernesto Norberto Garcia, José Arsénio Manuel, Celeste de Brito António and Cristian de Lemos, the Eritrean Million Isaac Haile and the Canadian André Louis Roy.
All the defendants, who started to be tried on 17 January 2019, denied committing any of the crimes of which they were accused.
On 16 April, the Supreme Court of Angola sentenced Raveeroj Ritchotnean to seven years in prison for using a cheque for 50 billion dollars in an attempt to defraud the state.
In addition to Raveeroj Ritchotnean, considered the leader of the group targeted in this case, the court sentenced the other three Thai defendants to three years' imprisonment each for crimes of criminal association and fraud for fraud.
The Angolan defendant Celeste de Brito, arrested since 21 February 2018 and considered to be the link between the Thais and the Angolan State, was sentenced to two years in prison for the crimes of criminal association, influence peddling, fraud for defrauding in the frustrated manner, as an accomplice and use of false documents.
The court also sentenced José Arsénio Manuel to seven months' imprisonment and Christian de Lemos to six months' imprisonment for the crimes of influence peddling, and acquitted him of the other three crimes of which he was accused.
The defendants Norberto Garcia, an Angolan and former director of the Private Technical Investment Unit (PIU), Million Isaac Haille, an Eritrean, and André Roy, a Canadian, were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The Civil House of the President of the Republic released this Monday the new organization of the auxiliary ministerial departments of the Holder of the Executive Branch, which includes several dismissals and replacements for a new executive that reduces the ministries from 28 to 21.