Tag Archives: Portugal

Portugal takes control of Dos Santos shares

The Portuguese government took control of a stake held by Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos in Efacec Power Solutions SGPS SA as it attempts to help the manufacturer find a new shareholder, Bloomberg news agency reports. The daughter of late President of Angola Eduardo dos Santos, often named as the “richest woman of Africa” complained about injustice committed to her. Ms.Dos Santos also denied any wrong-doings, used as a pretext to seaze and privatase part of her immense wealth.

The 72% stake in Efacec was held through Malta-based firm Winterfell 2, which is indirectly controlled by Isabel dos Santos, Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said in Lisbon on July 2 following a cabinet meeting. The government will immediately launch a plan to sell the stake and there are already proposals from various companies, he said.

An “impasse” in Efacec’s shareholder structure has led the producer of electrical equipment including transformers to face some difficulties with clients, suppliers and creditors, and some orders have been canceled in the last few weeks, according to Siza Vieira. Efacec has annual sales of about €400M, the minister said.

Efacec said in January that dos Santos planned to sell her majority stake in the company.

In December, an Angolan court froze some assets of dos Santos, as well as those of her husband Sindika Dokolo and one of her executives, after prosecutors alleged they engaged in deals with state-owned companies that led to the Angolan government incurring losses.

In February, Portuguese prosecutors froze her bank accounts in the country. Dos Santos has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Angolan billionaire businesswoman said she had been “denied justice” after losing an appeal against an asset freeze over alleged corruption.

Described by Forbes magazine as the wealthiest woman in Africa, she is accused of diverting billions of dollars from state companies during her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s nearly 40-year rule of the oil-rich nation.

Since her father retired in 2017, her business empire has been targeted by his successor, Joao Lourenco, who has vowed to defeat corruption.

“I have been denied justice from the courts in Angola and Portugal,” dos Santos said in a statement.

Isabel Dos Santos accuses fraudsters

Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, denounes fraudsters, insisting that a fake copy of her passport with the signature of martial artist and celbrity Bruce Lee was used to seize her assets in Angola and in Portugal.

An internet fraudster claiming to represent her interests used the document to propose a loan to a Japanese startup before Angolan authorities presented it as part of evidence that she was attempting to transfer large sums of money abroad, Dos Santos said May 12 in an statement that includes pictures of the forged passport. While the authenticity of a copy of her passport was investigated in one of those cases, the elements proved in that process “weren’t based on any identity document, but on documents that attested to the fear of dissipation of assets,” it said in a statement.

This not only served as the basis for the confiscation of all the property of Ms dos Santos in Angola, but also for a rogatory letter asking the Portuguese judiciary to freeze her assets in Portugal,” Dos Santos said.

Dos Santos’s assets in Angola were frozen late last year after authorities in the southwest African nation accused her of engaging in deals with state-owned companies that cost the state $1.14 billion. In February, Portuguese prosecutors also froze Dos Santos assets in the country, home to a sizable portion of her estimated $2.4 billion fortune, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The daughter of late President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been living outside Angola since 2018, has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the allegations are politically motivated to prevent her from participation in elections.

In an exclusive interview with DW TV, the Angolan president spoke about the scandal. Joao Lourenco said no one was exempt in the fight against corruption in Angola, and that there would be “no negotiations” with people who had allegedly taken their assets out of the country illegally.

Angola’s prosecutor general’s office said late on May 12 that Dos Santos currently faces several civil and criminal cases in which the state claims more than $5 billion, which were acquired through fraudulent manipulations with state aid.

Isabel dos Santos’ assets have been frozen in Angola. On January 22, the country’s prosecutors charged her with money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management, forgery of documents and other economic crimes during her time as head of the national oil company, Sonangol, from 2016 to 2017.

The charges against Isabel dos Santos were brought after an investigation into the scandal led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) using more than 715,000 leaked files. The richest woman of Africa, as she is often referred to, has vehemently denied the accusations, and claimed she is the target of political persecution.

EU defence ministers to visit Sahel

The French Defence minister Florence Parly (pictured) expected to arrive to the Sahel on Sunday January 19 with her counterparts from Estonia, Sweden and Portugal, the countries ready to support Barkhane’s trooops in the fight against jihadist armed groups.

“I am going to the Sahel on Sunday, I will be accompanied by the Swedish Minister for Defense, as well as by the Estonian Minister for Defense and finally the Portuguese Minister“, said Florence Parly on Europe 1.

We will continue to support our Sahelian partners and, in addition, we are calling for internationalization, for partners to join us to help the countries of the Sahel to fight this fight,” she added.

Estonia has confirmed its participation in the future coalition of special forces (“Takuba”) which France has taken the initiative to support by 4,500 troops of Barkhane in the Sahel. Sweden and Portugal could also be present.

We are not alone and there will certainly be more of us there when, in the summer, this Takuba force, which will be made up of European special forces, will be able to accompany the Malian armed forces,” said Florence Parly.

Barkhane does not act alone. The last operation that we conducted recently, more than 50% of the forces that were involved in this operation were partner forces, Sahelian and European. ”

Portugal & Greece welcome South Africans

The perspective of expropriation of land without compensation, widely known as “land grabs” stimulates South Africans to search for new secure home, where they can construct their future, and future of their families. (Image above: Lisbon, Portugal).

This newly created South African interest meets the offer of residence-by-investment programmes promoted by Greece and Portugal, opening a potential path to full citizenship for the investors, which also means an opportunity to work and live in the European Union.

Portugal remains the top destination of choice, with the Henley & Partners South Africa office registering a 78% increase in investment in the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program since July 2018.

The firm said it has also seen a ‘never-before-seen uptake’ in the Greece Golden Visa Program.

Recently Global citizenship company Henley & Partners has seen a significant increase in the number of South Africans inquiring about golden residence and visa programmes.

Henley & Partners South Africa is seeing a significant increase in interest in these two residence programs, which should be understood in the context of both their relative affordability for South Africans and broader international geopolitical unrest,” said Amanda Smit, managing partner of Henley & Partners South Africa.

In addition to  the EU members Portugal and Greece, Henley & Partners has previously said that it has seen interest in Malta, which is especially attractive for its official English language.

“On the other hand, residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs permit access to a significantly expanded suite of opportunities for travel, investment, and influence,Smit said. “The latest data show that the attractive contribution amounts of the Portugal and Greece residence-by-investment programs (requiring a minimum property investment of EUR 350,000 and EUR 250,000, respectively), combined with the tumultuous state of global and domestic politics, are causing many wealthy South Africans to understand this value proposition intimately.

 

 

Portugal offers employment to illegal migrants

A group of illegal migrants rescued from the Mediterranean in July by NGO vessel Aquarius have been re-homed in Fundao, a small Portuguese town 260 km north of Lisbon. (Image above: illustration, Fundao region),

The group of 19 migrants from Eritrea, Nigeria, Yemen and Sudan arrived in town to receive integration course, including classes in Portuguese language, and necessary skills to enter labor market.

The arrival of this group of migrants is a result of Portugal’s commitment to solidarity and European cooperation on migrants,” the government statement said.

These days Portugal joined with Spain, France and Germany in offering shelter and future to 10 people from this week Aquarius arrival  with the 58 illegal migrants on board.

The Portuguese unemployment rate fell to 6.7 % in the second quarter of 2018, while youth unemployment rate of those aged 15 to 24 is estimated 19.4%.