Ver Angola


Manuel Vicente sold 1.598 billion dollars of oil that was not paid

Between 2004 and 2007, when he headed oil company Sonangol, former vice-president Manuel Vicente authorized sales of oil to a Chinese company, worth 1.598 billion dollars, which were not paid to Angola.


According to additional information collected on Saturday by Lusa, contained in an indictment by Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias, better known as General 'Kopelipa' and Leopoldino Fragoso, known as General 'Dino', concluded by the Public Ministry earlier this month, Between 5 December 2004 and 6 November 2007, Angola sold to Sonangol International Holding Limited, a company owned 70 percent by Chinese and 30 percent by Sonangol EP, crude oil worth 1.598 billion dollars "without any clarified benefit for the Angolan State or for Sonangol EP itself".

According to that indictment dispatch, consulted by Lusa, it was following the trip of an Angolan delegation to China, which met with Chinese businessman Sam Pa, and the development of contacts in Angola, still in 2004, that those responsible for the company China International Fund Limited (CIF Limited Hong Kong) - the Chinese business vehicle to invest in the Angolan market - will have expressed to the Government of Angola, represented by the National Reconstruction Office and its director Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias, better known as General 'Kopelipa ', one of the defendants in the process, the intention to invest through cooperation in various fields, including oil, geology and mines, water and energy and housing (real estate construction).

And in this context, in January 2005, the then President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos, was asked for an authorization, which was granted, for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the National Reconstruction Office (GRN) and the Chinese company CIF The agreement was then signed, on the Angolan side, by 'Kopelipa' and, on the Chinese side, by the head of CIF, Lo Fong Hung.

However, in August 2004, based on the memorandum of understanding, Lo Fung Hung, using another company, Beya International Development Limited, and in partnership with the state oil company Sonangol, created China Sonangol International Holding Limited, with 70 percent of the company's capital in Chinese hands, or Beya, in this case, and 30 percent in the Angolan state, through the state oil company Sonangol.

Also on the basis of the same memorandum, Manuel Vicente, then chairman of Sonangol's board of directors, signed in January 2005, but with effect from November 2004, a contract with the newly created company.

"It should be said that Manuel Vicente was chairman [chairman of the board of directors of the company China Sonangol International Holding Limited, being vice-chairman (vice president) Mrs. Lo Fong Hung", highlights the text of the indictment to 'Kopelipa' and 'Dino'.

The contract signed then "was for a volume of 10,000 barrels of oil per day, or equivalent to four annual shipments with an effective date of November 1, 2004", adds the document from the Public Ministry.

A little over a year later, "a second contract was signed, which was actually an addendum", increasing from "10,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil per day, the equivalent of eight annual shipments" the amount of oil to be sold by Sonangol to that company, for which Manuel Vicente, a man trusted by José Eduardo dos Santos, who later became vice-president of Angola, was also responsible.

Manuel Vicente, despite being mentioned several times in the indictment of Generals 'Kolipa' and 'Dino', is not accused in the process.

From 5 December 2004 to 6 November 2007, "Sonangol EP sold to China Sonangol International Holding Limited a total of 27 barrels of crude oil, as a consignment sale for the establishment of a National Reconstruction Fund".

However, according to the public prosecutor's indictment, "Sonagol EP delivered the crude oil to China Sonangol International Holding Limited, but did not receive payment of the price", which also explains that the mostly Chinese company, "after receiving the oil, sold it and kept the money from that sale which was credited to their accounts" at Bank of China.

According to the invoices cited by the prosecution, the money for the payment "was credited, by consignment, to bank account number 012-875-92-29367-2, at Bank of China Limited, held by China Sonangol International Holding" and did not arrive to national coffers.

The indictment concludes that, from the "purchase and sale agreement dated 5 December 2004 to 6 November 2007, the company Sonangol International Holding Limited received a total of 1,598,523,528.3 dollars (one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight million five hundred and twenty-three thousand, five hundred and twenty-eight US dollars and thirteen cents) without any clarified benefit to the Angolan State or to Sonangol EP itself".

"This sale of crude oil to China International Holding Limited, on a consigned basis, for the creation of a National Reconstruction Fund - China Sonangol was suspended in 2008, but the six shipments scheduled for this year had been sold in advance in the year 2007", he underlines.

After being suspended, the contract was resumed in 2010, but from that date, "the proceeds of the sale reverted correctly to the Angolan State coffers, through Sonangol Pacific Inc in its account n.º 45311350041, domiciled at Banco Comercial Português ".

Former vice president Manuel Vicente is protected by legislation that grants him immunity for up to five years after leaving office.

That period ends in September of this year and only then can you be criminally indicted, if the court decides.


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