Carlos São Vicente, who has been in prison since September 2020, was sentenced to nine years in prison for embezzlement, money laundering and tax fraud, but submitted an appeal of unconstitutionality, which was denied by the Constitutional Court.
Eduarda Rodrigues, who was speaking at the workshop on "Asset Confiscation for Magistrates of Superior Courts", explained that since the beginning of the asset recovery process, the State has managed to recover, within the scope of voluntary deliveries of goods, more than five billion dollars, to which an additional two billion dollars have now been added.
This amount, the result of a final court decision, brings the total amount to more than seven billion dollars.
"Right now, we have the first wide-ranging decision for the confiscation of assets in our legal system", said Eduarda Rodrigues, stressing that in Angola alone, in terms of assets, the value amounts to more than 2 billion dollars, stressing that what prevailed until now it was the voluntary deliveries of goods.
Eduarda Rodrigues stressed that in Angola, the businessman's assets "are effectively lost".
"We are waiting here. If the corresponding value is not delivered, all the assets that are seized or arrested will effectively be lost within 30 days in favor of the State", she noted.
Abroad, continued the magistrate, the values are high, noting that in Switzerland alone they are more than 1.1 billion dollars.
"If we go to Bermuda we are talking about 310 million dollars, if we go to Singapore we are talking about more than 700 million dollars, if we go to Luxembourg we are talking about five million dollars, if we go to Portugal it is more of 20 million euros, therefore, in a single process", stressed the magistrate, praising the involvement of "a lot of international cooperation".
According to Eduarda Rodrigues, now the Angolan State "will fight for the execution of the decision abroad and try to recover those assets".
In judgment 825/2023 consulted by Lusa, the plenary of judges who analyzed the extraordinary appeal of unconstitutionality filed by the former boss of the insurance company AAA, dismissed the request because they considered that the principles, rights and constitutional guarantees claimed by Carlos São Vicente were not offended.
"It is often said that the numbers are very high, that it is unthinkable to talk about such high numbers", underlined Eduarda Rodrigues, reinforcing that the court cases contain "extremely high values".
"And this specific process, which has a final decision, is proof that we are actually talking about very high values. Therefore, out of five billion dollars, in terms of the effective recovery of assets in Angola, we have more than seven billion dollars", she stated.
The director of Senra said that Angola, like several countries in the world, is concerned with recovering assets, "because in the old days in classic criminal law, the agents who pursued the crime were more concerned with investigating the crime, convicting the defendant, getting the evidence, the evidence to go after the defendant, and many times they forgot about the assets".
"How many examples do we have in the outside world of people who had been sentenced to effective prison terms, but who in practice did not lose their assets? It was very common", she stressed.