Angola made 495 million euros deal with the same company as the ‘hidden debt’ of Mozambique

New York – The consultancy EXX Africa has warned that Angola may face reputational risks because the Angolan Ministry of Defense, when the current President was a minister, has made a deal of 495 million euros with companies involved in debt hidden in Mozambique.

“There are increasing indications of involvement of Angolan political leaders in the Mozambican scandal that have not yet been fully publicized,” the EXX Africa consultancy writes in a ‘Special Report’ on the link between Privinvest and the Angolan government when the current President of the Republic was Minister of Defense.

The Angolan Ministry of Defense, said the consultant, “reached a € 495 million contract to buy ships and maritime construction capacity from Privinvest, in a contract with apparently striking similarities with ProIndicus and MAM (in terms of verbiage and content), “the companies that are at the center of the ‘hidden debt’ scandal in Mozambique.

“These links and the deals made are likely to undermine the very popular and media-driven impetus against corruption, and may also embarrass Angolan leading political leaders and pose reputational risks to investors in Angola,” adds the report. to the clients of this consultancy, and to which Lusa had access.

These are two contracts that EXX Africa says have been signed by the Angolan Ministry of Defense with Privinvest and ProIndicus, the two companies that have negotiated loans of more than one billion dollars in the margin of public accounts in Mozambique.

“The most significant conclusion [of the investigation carried out by the consultant EXX Africa] is that Simportex – a company of the Angolan Ministry of Defense, which entered into a partnership with Privinvest – signed two significant contracts, totaling 122 million euros, in 2015, with Finmeccanica, now called Leonardo SpA) for acquisitions that Privinvest could have made itself, “reads the document.

In December 2015 Simportex will have “signed contracts for the purchase and sale of equipment, substitutes, and to provide installation and training to equip a national center and three regional maritime coordination centers, as well as to install several control stations, replicators of signal and means of communication in the Angolan coast “.

The report explains that “the agreement was made between the Ministry of Defense and the Selex Company Ess in a value in Kwanzas equivalent to 115 million euros” and also included “the purchase and sale of two ultra-fast patrol vehicles, spare parts, tools and training services between the Ministry of National Defense and the company Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei SPA, with a value in kwanzas equivalent to 7.3 million euros. ”

Also in 2015, the consultant says that Angola “has entered into another agreement with the French subsidiary of Privinvest, CMN (which built the EMATUM boats) to provide a hydroelectric project”, about which no further details are given.

Citing a source “close to ProIndicus,” EXX Africa says that João Lourenço, as defense minister, visited the Mozambican project “as part of an effort by Privinvest, led by Boustani, to sell him a similar package” to what he had submitted to Mozambique.

Former Vice-President Manuel Vicente, presented as someone “now acting as financial and economic adviser with extraordinary powers and influence over public policies,” will have had a “prominent role” in the agreements between Angola and Privinvest, the businessman Gabriele Volpi to the Mozambican authorities, first, and then between Jean Boustani and João Lourenço and Privinvest.

Speaking to Lusa, the director of EXX Africa and the author of the report says that the report “does not accuse anyone of any illegal act in the business between Simportex and Privinvest” and emphasizes that the aim is “to alert to the fact that Privinvest has a controversial reputation and that business with this firm should be subject to closer scrutiny, preferably by the Angolan government itself. ”

Asked about the details of the investigation, Robert Besseling said that “the purpose was to alert our clients to the possibility of a reputational risk that needs to be investigated more closely for them to limit their exposure” and concludes that “the precedent on what happened in Mozambique should serve as a warning to all parties involved in large business of proxy in Angola. ”

Among the documents presented by the US court against Jean Boustani and Manuel Chang, there is a 27-page presentation on Privinvest, which presents examples of projects in countries such as Germany, France and Angola. a computer design of a light frigate, 90 meters, entitled ‘Project Angolan Navy’, but without further details beyond the technical specifications of the frigate.