BES-Angola shareholders ‘stole €3 billion from the Portuguese’
An investigation published today in Visão magazine shows that at the general meeting of BES Angola in October 2014, decisions were made that caused losses of €3 billion for BES and Novo Banco.
Álvaro Sobrinho, (pictured), the former president of BES Angola, (BESA) accuses the bank’s Angolan shareholders and Banco Nacional de Angola, of having set up a scheme to take €3 billion from BES and Novo Banco.
According to Visão magazine, the central act of this plan was implemented on October 29, 2014, at the shareholders’ meeting where a capital increase was proposed for BESA and a dilution of the positions of shareholders.
At the meeting, the representative for BES, which owned 55% of BESA, was prevented from getting to the meeting on time due to a rather convenient police operation outside the building.
A decision was taken that resulted in a loss of €3 billion for BES and Novo Banco, approved by the Angolan shareholders, who had a minority position but today control Banco Económico, the bank that succeeded BESA.
“This was a robbery, they robbed the Portuguese of €3 billion and I believe that extremely important interests were moved so that a group of people would rob the largest bank in Angola, which had the largest cash and real estate assets,” said Álvaro Sobrinho, who says he has only now decided to speak out because the regime has changed.
Prior to the general meeting, BES owed 55% of BESA and, after resolutions passed by Angolan shareholders, Novo Banco was left with only 9%.
“They said that the bank was bankrupt and today they are the owners of the bank,” says Álvaro Sobrinho, who concludes that the plan will have been orchestrated with the connivance of José de Lima Massano, then president of the Banco Nacional de Angola.
“BNA saw a golden moment there: there are problems at BES in Portugal, we have a debt here to settle, and we are going to make a fuss here to not pay that debt.”
Former BES chairman, Ricardo Salgado, said, “It became clear that the Bank of Portugal and the financial institutions that resulted from the BES resolution handed a gift to Angola.”
The problem with Sobrinho, is that few will believe his latest story.
Salgado’s ‘most distrous appointment ever,’ is suspected of receiving $433 via three Angolan companies and another $182 million from two offshore companies. The total he is alleged to have siphoned off is the equivalent of €499 million, money that was advanced as ‘loans’ to companies which then was diverted for his control and use.
Among the incriminating documents published in Der Spiegel are bank statements, e-mails and Excel files that indicate movements of money, such as a deposit of $277 million in cash into a BES-Angola account and the raising of almost $50 million in cash from a company controlled by Sobrinho who deposited half of the amount the next day in a private account.
This particular transaction is detailed in an exchange of emails between the BES-A boss and one of his relatives, this being just one transaction of several involving hundreds of millions sent to entities controlled by the former head of BES-A.
Sobrinho once was a confidante of Ricardo Salgado, later becoming an enemy and the target of accusations.