JOHANNESBURG — The son of Angola’s former leader has been accused of embezzlement and fraud and prevented from leaving the oil-rich southern African nation, a new report said Monday.
Jose Filomeno dos Santos has been accused along with the former governor of the National Bank of Angola, Valter Filipe, over an “irregular” transfer of $500 million to a British bank, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.
The report cited Angola’s deputy attorney general, Luis Benza Zanga. The new Lusa report did not name the British bank but said Britain’s National Crime Agency was returning the $500 million and investigating the transfer.
Dos Santos had been appointed the board chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund while his father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was president. Jose Eduardo dos Santos left office last year after nearly 38 years in power.
Since winning election in August, new leader Joao Lourenco has removed Jose Filomeno dos Santos from that post and fired dos Santos’ daughter — said to be Africa’s richest woman — as chair of the powerful state-owned oil company.
Lourenco, Angola’s former defense minister, also quickly appointed a crop of new ministers to differentiate himself from dos Santos and replaced key security personnel while vowing to tackle the corruption that has long hurt Africa’s second-largest oil producer. Almost two-thirds of the country’s 29 million people live in poverty on less than $2 a day.
The latest Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International ranks Angola 167th among 180 countries.