Ver Angola


PGR works with São Tomé to “discover truth” about 30 million dollars embezzlement

The Attorney General of the Republic said this Wednesday that “the defendants have not yet been constituted” in the alleged embezzlement of 30 million dollars ceded by Angola to São Tomé and added that the two countries are cooperating to discover the truth.


"We are working and we cannot have any perspective, our only perspective is to discover the truth and then say something, we are working to discover the truth", said this Wednesday Hélder Pitta Grós, questioned by Lusa.

The attorney general, who preferred not to go into details, assured that the work is being carried out in conjunction with the Sao Tome counterpart, referring not to be able to describe "what is being done in concrete".

"We are exchanging information [with the São Tomé and Príncipe Public Prosecutor's Office]. The prospect of filing or not, I cannot tell you why we are working", he stressed.

Hélder Pitta Grós also said that, in relation to this case, the PGR "has not yet constituted defendants", stressing that work is underway with all the countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) on similar cases.

"We are working with all the CPLP countries so that we can see some facts that have to do with us. We will see, each case is different, and we will act accordingly", he assured.

Pitta Grós was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the international conference on "Asset Recovery", which is taking place this Wednesday, in Luanda, as part of the celebrations of the 43rd anniversary of the Angolan PGR.

The São Tomé justices closed the case of alleged corruption involving the current President, Carlos Vila Nova, and the ex-minister Américo Ramos, within the scope of a credit of 30 million dollars, while procedures are taking place in Angola, clarified this Tuesday a judicial source.

Speaking to Lusa, a source linked to the investigation said that the process was divided into two parts: "The part relating to Carlos Vila Nova and Américo Ramos ended with a filing order. Given the origin of the money, another part was referred to international cooperation in the criminal matters for Angola, where joint work has been carried out with the Angolan authorities".

As for the former São Tomé Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada, the São Tomé and Príncipe PGR had already determined in 2019 the shelving, "due to lack of criminal evidence", of two processes, including the so-called '30 million' case, after investigation of facts "which abstractly indicated the practice of crimes of corruption, embezzlement, economic participation in business and abuse of powers".

The position of the Attorney General of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe comes a day after the Sao Tome prime minister, Jorge Bom Jesus, asked the Court to resolve the financial scandals involving former prime minister Patrice Trovada and others associated with the current government, including the management of covid-19 funds and the construction of infrastructure.

Bom Jesus was reacting to a news article published by Angolan journalist Rafael Marques that brought up again the alleged corruption case in the amount of 30 million dollars involving former Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada (2014-2018) and the company China International Fund (CIF).

"I am concerned as a citizen, as a ruler, as a patriot that issues like these constantly appear to pinch the image of São Tomé and Príncipe, which is why I ask the courts that all these problems be quickly resolved in the proper spheres so that we can bury once and for all, all these financial scandals", said the head of government.

In addition to this case involving Patrice Trovoada, the prime minister defended that "the specific cases must be pointed out" that contribute "to continuing to label São Tomé and Príncipe a corrupt country" and that the Government itself wants to see clarified.

On his blog 'Maka Angola', Rafael Marques – who was recently in São Tomé and Príncipe – published an article entitled "Angola and the Hidden Debt of São Tomé", indicating that on July 25, 2015 – during the government headed by Patrice Trovoada and of which Vila Nova and Américo Ramos were ministers, respectively with the portfolios of Infrastructure and Finance - "China-Sonangol Investment transferred, from Indonesia, the amount of 10 million dollars to the account of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos".

"This amount was part of a credit agreement, totaling US$30 million, between the China International Fund (CIF) and the Sao Tome government. The remaining 20 million dollars 'disappeared', 'disappeared', have 'evolved', and the government of São Tomé does not know how to ask for them, or who to pay the debt of 10 million dollars. A case that is at least ridiculous, and which involves Angola through the [state] Sonangol," he added.

According to the same publication, the loan was intended for the construction of a new administrative center and residences for civil servants in the capital, São Tomé, and was due to be repaid by 2036, after a five-year grace period, with an annual interest rate of 1 percent.


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